Common Self-Assessment Mistakes

Common Self-Assessment Mistakes

Avoid Common Mistakes When Submitting Your Self-Assessment Tax Return

When it comes to submitting your self-assessment tax return, even seemingly minor errors can lead to significant complications. To ensure a smoother process and avoid attracting undue attention from HMRC, here’s a recap of some common pitfalls that you need to watch out for. These tips are essential whether you’re a seasoned taxpayer or navigating your tax returns for the first time (it’s not as scary as it seems!).

Adjusting Figures Post-Submission

It might seem harmless to tweak a few numbers here and there before you have officially pressed submit on your tax return, but such adjustments can really raise flags at HMRC. In fact, during one of our live sessions, a viewer shared that they had to attend an interview with HMRC due to these last-minute changes. This is a classic trigger for a closer look into your submission, so it’s crucial to double-check your figures before hitting ‘submit’ and avoid making changes afterwards.

Misaligned Dates

Consistency in your accounting dates is crucial. Whether your accounts conclude on 31st March or 5th April, it’s important to keep these dates consistent each year. Altering your financial year-end can confuse your records and potentially complicate your tax return submission. The last thing anyone wants is unnecessary complications that could have been easily avoided by maintaining consistent accounting dates.

Lump Sum Expenses

While it might seem quicker to lump all your expenses into one big number, this approach can send up red flags for auditors. It’s far more effective to break down your expenses clearly. Not only does this help HMRC understand your deductions more clearly, but it also makes it easier for you to track and justify these expenses if they are ever questioned. Furthermore, a detailed breakdown can provide you with a clearer picture of your financial year, aiding in better financial decisions.

Forgetting to Declare All Income Sources

One of the most common pitfalls is failing to declare all sources of income. This includes earnings from side gigs or occasional freelance work. Every penny earned must be accounted for in your tax returns. Failing to declare all income sources can lead to discrepancies that HMRC is likely to investigate further.

Conclusion

Mistakes in tax returns are not uncommon, especially given the intricate details involved. However, being aware of these common errors and taking steps to avoid them can make your tax return process much smoother and less stressful.

Remember, ensuring accuracy and thoroughness in your tax submissions not only keeps you compliant but also prevents the hassle of dealing with potential audits or enquiries from HMRC.

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