Self-Assessment Since the introduction of self-assessment, all taxpayers should understand the tax rules, to minimise their overall income tax exposure, to ensure that they do not receive penalties and to protect against becoming subject to a tax enquiry. If you are selected by HMRC to fill in a self-assessment tax return, you need to make sure than this return correctly discloses all taxable income sources. You will also wish to make sure that it claims all valid tax deductions. Individuals need to complete and file a tax return if they: earn more than £2,500 from renting out property; have a partner who receives child benefit and either has an annual income of more than £50,000, the so-called higher income child benefit charge; earned more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission; are self-employed sole traders; are limited company directors; are shareholders; employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500 per tax year; or have an annual income over £100,000. When is the deadline? The deadline for self-assessment returns 2017-2018 is 31 January 2019 for online submissions. What do you need to declare? When filing your self-assessment tax return, you will need to declare any income that you made in the previous financial year. These will vary depending on your individual circumstances, but the main records you will need to declare are: Your P60 Your P45 (if you left a job that year) P11D benefits in kind Details of any pay and expenses from an employer Details of any bank interest Dividends or sale of stocks and shares Any capital gains made Information on any pension you may have Trusts Disposals e.g. if you sold a property Charitable donations Rental Income Foreign Income HMRC fines HMRC will issue an immediate £100 fine if you submit your tax return late. This then becomes a fine of £10 on top of this £100 if you fail to submit your return after three months. The maximum fine is £900. Submission after the Deadline Fine One Day Late £100 3 months £10 a day up to £900 6 months £300 or 5% of tax due 12 months £300 or 5% of tax due There are also fines in place for sending an incorrect tax return or if it contains mistakes. Penalties are high for those who attempt to conceal their income in order to pay less tax. Top mistakes tax payers make when completing their tax returns. Making mistakes on self-assessment tax returns however innocent can lead to enquiries, investigations and additional tax, interest and penalties. Below are some of the top mistakes many people make: Forgetting to include income from a previous employment that ended part way through a tax year. Forgetting to include benefits from a previous employment that ended part way through a tax year. Forgetting to include student loans when your earnings exceed the threshold Forgetting Child benefit clawback for earners who are receiving child benefit and who earn more than £50,000 Ignoring tax codes and forgetting tax underpayments from previous years collected through their tax code Claiming for expenses that cannot be claimed for What support do we offer? The best way to ensure that your tax return is completed correctly is to speak to our tax experts who can ensure everything is accurate and submitted in a timely manner. Understanding this complicated tax system and paying the correct (minimum) amount of income tax, at the correct time, through the correct mechanism, is what most clients seek. Speak to our tax technicians and put your mind at ease. We may even be able to suggest ways to restructure your affairs to save further tax.