Anyone yet to submit a self assessment tax return for the 2014-15 tax year, the deadline of 31st Jan is looming fast. Failure to submit on time will result in a £100 penalty, providing it’s not more that 3-months late. The self assessment tax return is used by HMRC to calculate the amount of income tax owed.
Who needs to submit a tax return?
According to the HMRC website, you’ll need to submit a tax return if:
- You’re self-employed
- You received £2,500+ in untaxed income (e.g. from renting property)
- Savings or investment income was £10,000+ before tax
- You need to pay Capital Gains Tax from sales of shares, property or other assets
- You’re a company director and you didn’t get any pay or benefits (unless non-profit organisation)
- Your, or your partner’s, income was over £50,000 and one of you received Child Benefit.
- You had income from abroad you need to pay tax on
- You lived abroad and had a UK income
- You got dividends from shares and you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer
- Your income was over £100,000
- You were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
If you didn’t submit a tax return last year, you’ll need to register, which can take 20 working days.
If you’ve decided you need to submit a tax return, getting an accountant to help you is a good idea. For a relatively small fee, they will be able to sort your income/expenditure to make sure you don’t pay more tax than you need to.
For more help and information, visit the HMRC website where there’s lots of helpful advice and information.
A rat ate my tax return
If you’re late submitting your return, you can appeal against the £100 penalty if you have a reasonable excuse. Here are some of HMRC’s oddest excuses from last year:
1 My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
2 I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
3 I fell in with the wrong crowd.
4 I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
5 Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
6 I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
7 A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
8 I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
9 My girlfriend’s pregnant.
10 I was in Australia.