Remember: it's tax time again

Dig out those Revenue forms now if you can't face doing the sums alone

September is an important month for taxpayers. If you are one of the 9 million people who have been sent a self-assessment form and don't want the hassle of calculating how much tax you have to pay, the Inland Revenue will work it out for you - as long as you return the form by 30 September.

September is an important month for taxpayers. If you are one of the 9 million people who have been sent a self-assessment form and don't want the hassle of calculating how much tax you have to pay, the Inland Revenue will work it out for you - as long as you return the form by 30 September.

However, this month the deadline falls on a Saturday so you would do well to get your form in by Friday 29 September. Even though you won't be fined if you don't send your form in before this date, life will be a lot easier as you won't have to calculate the tax you owe.

The absolute deadline for returning your form if you want to avoid a fine is 31 January 2001: if you are aiming for this date, you will have to calculate your own tax.

Taxpayers may prefer to work out their own payments anyway, given the problems the Revenue has encountered with its computer systems, and the number of mistakes it has made in calculating people's tax liabilities. But tax experts believe it is still better to get the Revenue to make the calculations than trying to work it out for yourself.

"We are beginning to hear people claiming that taxpayers would be best advised to do their own calculations because of Revenue errors," says Sharon Linnard, tax partner at KPMG. "I think that is bad advice. While, of course, people should check the Revenue's figures, there are many advantages in getting the return in by the end of the month."

If you do get your form in before the end of the month, the tax office will calculate your liability and let you know what tax you need to pay before 31 January 2001. If the tax due is less than £1,000 and collected through pay-as-you-earn or PAYE, the tax office will include this in your tax code for the 2001-02 tax year.

If you prefer to make the calculation yourself, you must pay the tax due on or before 31 January. If it is less than £1,000, it will probably be too late to include in your tax code by then, so the tax will be payable as a lump sum by 31 January.

However, if you are intending to send off your form before 29 September, you need to act now. Dig out the form and get all the paperwork you need.

"Treat the return like an exam paper - read every question carefully and give the answers the Revenue needs, not the ones you would like them to have," says John Whiting, tax partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. "The copy of last year's tax return (we recommend you take a copy) is a useful starting point and should help to make sure you don't forget anything obvious."

The Inland Revene provides a number of easy steps to follow to ensure you fill out the form correctly:

* The second page of the return will tell you which supplementary pages you need to complete. The self-employed, those in employment or in receipt of rental income, will need to complete supplementary pages. These should be ordered now from the Revenue if they were not sent with the tax return.

* Gather together all primary documents detailing income, gains, and tax deducted for the year 6 April 1999 to 5 April 2000 (see box). You will have to disclose income even if it has been taxed at source.

* Write clearly in the boxes. Don't attach anything to the tax return, such as your P60, as the Revenue will not look at these when processing returns and documents may not be returned.

* Don't forget to sign and date the tax return - not doing so is the most common error.

* Attempt to calculate your tax liability to give yourself a rough idea of what to expect from the Revenue's calculations.

If your affairs are complicated, it is worth seeking professional advice. If the Revenue or its website can't help, (see Online Oracle, opposite) ask a professional tax adviser.

* Inland Revenue self-assessment order line 0645 000404; or www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk