It is that time of year. Self-assessment tax returns have to be submitted to HMRC by 31` January 2018. This includes the self-employed as a sole trader or in a partnership or a company director. Any employment or other income must be added to give your total annual income.
HMRC try to be fair with information on self-assessment but will not be kind. It is up to you to find out what you can claim for to reduce your tax bill and make the appropriate claim on the self-assessment form. Many people think they are saving money by doing their own forms and then pay too much tax because they miss something. HMRC will just say thank you.
Five Important Tips
How to Complete your Self-Assessment Tax Return
- Think about all your expenses not just the obvious ones such as office costs and printing ink. You must consider what you would not spend if you did not have a business. It is essential to think through carefully what you do from day to day. Remember phones and print off you invoices.
- You must decide how you want to claim your travel costs. There is more than one way for the self-employed to do this. Many people do this wrong and claim too much or not enough
- Beware about claiming for food and entertainment. HMRC believes you have to eat any way and the rules are very restrictive about what you can claim as legitimate expenses. The days of freely wining and dining customers are over.
- If you pay an annual fee for a cost you must decide how you are going to show it in the figures so it represents the period covered by the tax return and not the whole year.
- When earnings are low and you are married have you considered the marriage allowance which is new? This enables you to transfer part of your tax allowance to your partner if you cannot use it.
Do speak to us if you need any help . Your tax return is urgent. Do not get distracted.
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