James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at money.co.uk, said: “We all know that one of the main drawbacks of being self-employed, apart from fluctuating income month-to-month and year-to-year, is being forced to report your income and pay tax to HMRC.
“Remembering to submit your tax returns manually can be a real nuisance, especially if you’re struggling to manage your cash flow at this time of year. If you owe less than £3,000 in income tax, it’s a good idea to notify HMRC now, so they can take what you owe directly via PAYE and save you the hassle of organising the payment yourself.
“One of the most common mistakes made with tax returns is an incorrect tax code, so even if you think this doesn’t apply to you, it’s a good idea to check your tax code anyway, just to be sure.
“If HMRC has the wrong details then you could be paying too much, or too little, so check you have the right code now, before it’s too late.
“If you have never sent an online tax return before, the first thing you need to do is register with the government website. This process can take up to three weeks, so make sure you do it in plenty of time before any deadlines.
“Once you have registered, you can sign in and use the free HMRC Self Assessment online service on the government site to submit your tax return. To complete the forms, you’ll need to gather all the relevant paperwork and documents, which can include your P60, P45, P11D or a P9D. You might also need to provide a summary of any rental income and expenses or statements of earnings from savings and investments.
“If you think you’ve made a mistake in submitting your tax return, it is possible to amend your self assessment by submitting an amendment in writing or via the HMRC website. However, if this does happen to you, remember you only have 12 months to complete the process.
“If you’ve overpaid tax it’s relatively easy to claim it back. You shouldn’t need to use a third-party company, in fact, you can check whether it’s worth claiming a tax rebate for free using the HMRC tax checker.
“For more tips and tricks on completing your online self assessment tax return, use money.co.uk’s handy guide here: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/a-beginners-guide-to-self-assessment.htm.”