We’re fast approaching the end of October, and while everyone else is getting in the Halloween spirit, it struck us that it also marks the three month countdown to the Self Assessment deadline. So here are our top tips on how to get sorted, file on time and avoid those fines.

1 Get Registered (or check that you know where your details are)

This may sound obvious but HMRC can take up to 4 weeks to complete your registration process. Register now and avoid any additional stress later on in the year. Similarly, if you are already registered for self assessment, check that you know where your details are and that they work. If any problems arise, you still have time to sort them out.

2 Check if you need to register for self assessment

If you work on a freelance basis, then you’ll need to register for self assessment as a sole trader. As a sole trader, the income that you receive has not already had National Insurance and Income Tax deducted, so this is what you need to tell HMRC about. HMRC can then calculate how much tax (if any) you owe.

If you are an employee, but have additional income such as any properties that you may rent out, or income from another country then you will also need to file a tax return, as will any Directors of Limited Companies.

3 Get your financial records in order

In an ideal world we would all have everything filed into a fantastic little online system, but in reality, everyday life can often take over and leave us scrabbling around for receipts at the end of the year. To avoid any last minute panics, here are our essential details for what you need:

–Your income. So any invoices you have raised and business related expenses you incurred over the last tax year.

–Details of any pension payments that you may have made

–Any interest paid on any business credit cards or loans

–If applicable, details of any other income not taxed at source

–If applicable, details of any dividends that you have paid yourself from your Limited Company or any income that you have received from a Partnership.

We hope that you have found this post helpful. If you get organised and plan ahead, self assessment can be straight forward and stress free, but if you feel that you would like professional help, we’d love to hear from you. Just give us a call or drop us a line. Details can be found on our contact page!