If you are filing your self-assessment tax return online then the deadline to submit it and pay any tax owed is January 31st each and every year.
However early or late you do it there are things that will make it easier.
Remember, if you submit your self-assessment tax return late, or even not at all, you risk being fined by HMRC.
Register your business with HMRC
If this is your first time filing a tax return you will need to register with HMRC so that they know you are in business.
HMRC will send you a UTR (Unique Tax Reference) which you will need to include on your tax return. They will also send you a pin number in the post for registering for the online tax returns service.
You need to register as soon as possible because it could take up to a few weeks to hear back from them, which means you might miss the deadline if you leave it too late.
Work out all the income types you receive
Tax returns have a main page where you record common types of income such as dividends you have received and bank interest.
You will need to fill out separate pages for any other types of income you receive, such as those from a job or earnings from being self-employed.
Working out which pages you will need to fill out on your self-assessment tax return will make it easier to find all the right information and paperwork needed.
Find all the relevant paperwork
Working out all the different types of income you receive will make finding the relevant paperwork much easier. You should do this step as soon as possible because you will make things a lot more confusing and hectic for yourself if you are searching for your paperwork at the same time as filling in your self-assessment.
Relevant paperwork can include things like business accounts if you own a business or rent received and costs incurred if you rent out any properties
Make sure your books are in order
If you are a sole trader or in a partnership you need to make sure your books are in order at least up to the date of the accounting year being reported in your self-assessment tax return – this year is usually up to 5th April, but it could be earlier.
Knowing things like your incomes, costs, and profits is important because your profits are what tax is paid on. If you miscalculate and pay too little tax HMRC could fine you.
Get an accountant
Unless your business is very simple and small, the UK’s tax system is probably more complicated than you would want to deal with. That means finding an accountant who can do all the hard and complicated work for you.
A good accountant will make sure you avoid all the tax traps you can fall into if you don’t know what you are doing, saving you from being fined, and they also make sure you can get on with actually running your business.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.