Personal Finance: Time to meet the deadline

The Inland Revenue can help you file your returns

BITE THE bullet, blow the dust off your calculator and fill in your tax return. That is, if you haven't done so already and want the Inland Revenue to calculate your tax for you. If so, your return must reach your tax office by Wednesday 30 September.

Having the sums done for you is not the only advantage in getting your return in promptly. Employees who have underpaid tax by up to pounds 1,000 can have that tax collected through their PAYE code for the next complete tax year as long as they meet the September deadline. If not, the full amount has to be paid at the end of next January.

Even if you do not manage to get your return in by the end of this month, the Revenue says it will still try to work out how much tax you owe or are owed. But they cannot guarantee they will do this before 31 January - the final date for tax returns to be in and any tax owing to be paid. Failure to meet that deadline means an automatic pounds 100 fine.

So if you miss this month's deadline and do not intend to do your own calculations, try to overestimate the tax you owe and pay that amount by the end of January. Any overpayment will be reimbursed.

So far, 2.8 million of the 8.9 million people who were sent a self-assessment tax return have completed them - slightly more than at this stage last year, says Jane Ashton of the Inland Revenue.

If you are happy to calculate your own tax, you have some breathing space. And, according to the Revenue, doing it yourself is not too difficult. "You copy figures from the tax return on to the tax calculation guide and add them up," says Ashton. "I would say it is very simple."

During the week, you can get help over the phone from your local tax office, whose number is on the front page of your tax return. Outside office hours there is also a helpline for any self-assessment queries.

Is it really important to meet the September deadline? It is, unless you want to do the sums yourself, says Steve Midwinter, partner at the accountants, Deloitte & Touche: "I think calculating your own tax is very difficult for a normal person. The tax affairs of anyone obliged to complete a self-assessment return will be more complicated than average."

The best way to find a good tax adviser is through personal recommendation. Failing that, call one of the professional bodies. How much they charge varies enormously. For advice as well as completing a return you could expect fees of at least pounds 100 to pounds 200, while those with assets could get a bill for thousands of pounds.

Inland Revenue helpline: 0645 000444; The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales: 0171-920 8682; The Chartered Institute of Taxation: 0171-235 9381; The Tax Team: 0800 393520; Deloitte & Touche: 0171-936 3000

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

    £70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

    Nursery Nurse

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

    Nursery Nurse

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam