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Tips for people filling out their first self-assessment tax return

Home / Blog Entry / Tips for people filling out their first self-assessment tax return

The due date for self-assessment tax returns London residents have to fill out was 31st January. This time of year is full of people rushing to make the deadline and others dealing with late fines. People who have never done one before will more than likely be unsure about the process. You should be aware about how to make it a success so that if and when you have to fill out one, you are prepared and not stressed.

Unique Tax Reference (UTR) Number

When you file a return, you need this number. It is something that will stay the same throughout your life but you have to apply for it yourself. This typically takes 10 days to arrive in the post and then you will need to request an activation code. This is for your account and can take another 10 days. Therefore you need to plan ahead.

The Taxes You Pay

You need to understand which taxes you pay. Your tax return covers National Insurance, income, dividend, and capital gains. These depend on your earnings so you will have to record and calculate how much you have earned through these means. Things like stamp duty land tax, council tax, and inheritance are ones that you do not have to worry about.

Tax-free Allowances

You can earn a certain amount of money before paying tax so you need to maximise your allowances. There are different ones to be aware of like the personal allowance. This is £11,500 for the 2017-18 tax year meaning that earnings below this are not taxed so long as you don’t earn more than £100,000. When you use these strategically it can make a huge difference to your bill.

Important Documents

There are key things that you will need to use for your tax return. Your National Insurance number, address, and date of birth are all important as you will need these to fill everything out.

Employed people will need their P60, P45 if you have moved jobs during the tax year, maybe a PAYE notice of coding, and a P11D if you receive one. People paying off a student loan will need their annual payment statement. If you are claiming expenses you will also need exact details of bills and receipts.

You need to hold onto this paperwork. It is a requirement that you keep your records for at least 6 years but HMRC can launch an investigation up to 20 years later.

There are so many other things that you need to consider with tax returns London and other areas need to fill out. Whether it is your first or you have completed many before, you should seek help from Brian G Lonis & Co. We understand all the relevant rules, details, and regulations of tax. Because of this we can help make sure that you do not stress or pay more tax than is necessary.