Timely tips for your tax return
Wednesday 03 September 1997
Since then, of the more than 8.5 million sent out to individual taxpayers, barely 20 per cent have been returned to the Revenue ahead of the September 30th deadline for having any tax owed calculated for you.
After that, the next deadline is January 31st - but only if you are prepared to calculate the amount of tax you owe yourself. Given the looming potential scale of disaster waiting to happen, many people are unlikely to choose that option.
Of the two million returned forms, mistakes have been spotted in about 40 per cent of cases, although the vast majority have been simple errors. However, some 120,000 have been sent back to taxpayers as "unfit for processing".
My own experience may be typical. Although I filled in all the details of my earnings, I failed to add up one column. As a result, I was informed by the Revenue that I was owed pounds 560 in overpaid tax. Sadly, a call from me (honest but stupid) revealed it was the other way round and more.
It is becoming clear that despite the brave face being put on it by the Revenue, the likelihood of a flood of mistaken forms being sent in between now and the end of the month - many of them reluctantly completed by "form- filler-phobes" - is increasingly high.
TAX etc, a firm of chartered accountants specialising in tax issues, offers the following tips to help people through the maze:
Gather all your records, including employment details (P60, P45, P11D), self-employed income, details of expenses and records of other income (bank and building society interest). You will need to keep this information for two years.
Make yourself aware of the allowances you may be entitled to, especially married couple's allowance and the additional person's allowance for single parents. Each are worth pounds 268.50 to taxpayers.
Make sure you know why you are being asked what information to put down on your tax form. If in doubt, call the Inland Revenue or contact an accountant. Don't "guesstimate" anything.
Check whether information given by your employer in relation to benefits in kind, such as company cars and other expenses, is correct and the same as on your tax return. In many cases employers have agreements with the Revenue that mean you don't need to fill in that part of the form. Find out whether this applies to you.
Remember to look at your tax position last year. If underpayment was made then check that this has been carried through to this year's PAYE code.
If you are a higher rate taxpayer and have a private pension or make payments to charities, you are entitled to extra tax relief on your contributions.
Set aside one or two evenings before September 30th to make sure you have all the answers to each question on the tax form. Give yourself at least a couple of hours to fill in the form.
If you want the Revenue to collect outstanding tax through PAYE (up to pounds 1,000-worth) next tax year, you must send in the form before the 30th of the month.
Beware the consequences of getting things wrong or sending them in late. The penalty for late returns is pounds 100, plus a further pounds 100 if it is sent back more than six months late.
Above all, don't panic. The forms are nowhere near as complicated as they seem at first sight. Grit your teeth and do it.
TAX etc can be contacted on 0171-614 0056.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Banks are brought to account by switchers as growing number of people expect to be rewarded by their bank
Bargain Hunter: Playmobil plays to the gallery with discounts on its toy range
How to start your own internet business
Five ways to make money on the internet
- 1 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Syrian rebels consider joining forces with regime troops to fight al-Qa’ida
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
iJobs Money & Business
£Negotiable: Citifocus: The role will suit a fund product specialist, current...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits : Harrington Starr: An award wi...
£300 - £400 per day: Harrington Starr: My client is currently looking for an e...
£300 - £400 per day: Harrington Starr: My client is currently looking for an e...
Day In a Page
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden
A top-floor one-bedroom flat in the heart of Pimlico with a terrace providing spectacular views over London, £495,000.
A six-bedroom house, with three reception rooms, 1.5 acres of land and stables, £450,000.