The 2014 tax returns were issued a couple of weeks ago. If you’ve received one, it’s probably not the top of your priority list, but it cannot be completely ignored either. Here are our top 5 tips for getting your return dealt with.
1. Know the dates
The 2014 return was issued on 6 April 2014. If you are filing a paper return, then it has to be filed by 31 October 2014. If you are filing online, then you have until 31 January 2015. The only exception is if you have been issued a return during the year and it is less than 3 months to the deadlines, in which case the deadline extends to 3 months after the issue date. For instance, if you are issued a return on 31 December 2014, then you will have until 31 March 2015.
2. Get it dealt with sooner rather than later
As with quite a lot of things in life, we tend to put off things which don’t interest us too much. However, even though you’ve got a long time to sort your return out, it’s surprising how quickly the year will disappear. You probably won’t want to deal with it during the summer, or in the run up to Christmas, and then you’ve got no choice but to deal with it in January (or face a late filing penalty). Do it now! It will be one less thing you have to worry about. There are also a lot of other good reasons for dealing with it sooner rather than later.
3. Get all your stuff together
It obviously makes sense that you can’t deal with your return until you’ve got all your books and records together. Which means:
- If you’re self employed, you’ll need accounts
- If you’re employed, you’ll need either a P45 if you changed jobs during the tax year and/or a P60
- If you’ve got a buy to let, you’ll need income and expenditure details, possibly including collection agent’s statements and mortgage interest details
- If you’ve got savings, you’ll need a statement of tax deducted
- If you’ve got shares, you’ll need dividend vouchers
4. Know when you need to pay tax
Tax for the 2014 tax year is usually due by 31 January 2015. However, if your tax bills are usually over £1,000, then you will probably have to make payments on account, in which case tax will also be due by 31 July 2014. If you have a tax bill and also have tax deducted at source through PAYE, then you could elect to have your tax deducted through your tax code.
5. Is a tax return due?
Just because you’ve received a tax return, it doesn’t automatically mean that a return is due. The vast majority are issued for people who are self employed or who have complicated tax affairs. However, if you used to be self employed and stopped, and are still receiving tax returns, you may wish to speak to HMRC to clarify why they are issuing returns. HMRC are more receptive to cancelling tax returns where there is no legitimate reason for one being issued.