Self Assessment Tax Return Tips
Completing a tax return can be a daunting task for many, but with proper preparation and an understanding of the process, it can be manageable. Here are our tips for completing your 2022/23 tax return:
- Gather all necessary documents
Gather documents for all of your sources of income. This can include a P60 from an employer or pension provider, as well as a P45 and/or P11D if you received one. You’ll also need to keep details of any interest you have received as well as any other investment income. Other income sources too, such as property income or any self-employed income must also be collected.
- Plan how you will submit your tax return
You can submit your tax return online through your Personal Tax Account (PTA) or by using, third party software, or a paper tax return (but remember the deadline for submitting a paper tax return for 22/23 was the end of October last year, so if you send in a paper tax return now, even before the end of January, you will receive a penalty for late submission. So, check that you have your Government Gateway log in details for accessing the Personal Tax Account. There is a useful guide explaining how to access your PTA here.
- Claim eligible deductions and reliefs
Consider any deductions or reliefs that you may be entitled to. The main examples include employment or self-employment expenses, charitable donations, the trading and miscellaneous income allowance, pension contributions and the marriage allowances.
- Remember there is a penalty if you miss the deadline
For most online self assessment tax return submissions, the deadline for completing the 2022/23 tax return online is 31 January 2024, the deadline for the the paper tax return was 31 October 2023. If you do not submit your tax return on time, to HMRC, you will be charged you a late filing penalty. You can appeal the penalty but you will need to have a reasonable excuse for not submitting it on time (such as serious illness or a bereavement).
- Be accurate and honest
Double check all the information you provide on your tax return. Mistakes or inaccuracies can lead to problems with HMRC and might result in penalties. Be honest about your income and expenses to avoid any issues.
- Keep records
If you file your tax return online, make sure you generate a submission receipt and print or save a copy. You should also print out or save a copy of the tax calculation which will show you how much tax you need to pay.
Keep copies of your tax return, along with supporting documents, for at least six years. HMRC may request additional information or carry out audits, and having proper records will be needed for such situations.
- Consider professional help
If your tax situation is complex, or you’re just feeling unsure and would like some help, you may wish to get professional help. You can get the help you need from an accountant or tax adviser who can help you to navigate the process and make sure you are not missing out on any tax-saving opportunities. If you have a low income, are vulnerable or struggling with debt, you may be able to qualify for free support from TaxAid or Tax Help for Older People.
Finally, if you don’t think you need to do a tax return any longer, you should contact HMRC to let them know. If they agree, they will withdraw your notice to complete a tax return. If you do not complete this step you will receive late filing penalties from HMRC.