Personal finance: Today self-assessment, tomorrow the virtual world...

Internet Investor

I TRUST you have filled in your self-assessment tax return and got it off to the Inland Revenue by now. If you haven't, then - oops! Friday was the last working day of the month, though you might get away with making sure the return is on the taxman's doormat first thing on Monday. If you are one of the large number of people who indulge in this kind of brinkmanship, what can I say? It is your pounds 100 that the Revenue will take away as a fine for late delivery of the return.

For future reference, I direct your attention to the self-assessment website, which explains the dates on the tax calendar, the records you need to keep and offers answers to common queries. There is also the obligatory screensaver. I am happy to say I do not know anybody who is sad enough to download a screensaver from the Inland Revenue.

It is easy to be confused about what the taxmen want from you. They get confused too. It is also easy to get confused about issues concerning the Internet. Take, for example, last week's launch by Barclays Stockbrokers of an expanded pilot of its trading service. This was translated by one newspaper (which shall remain nameless - oh alright, it was the Mail on Sunday) into the news that Barclays Bank was planning to launch a free Internet access service - something which was news to both Barclays Stockbrokers and Barclays Bank themselves!

Finding your way round the Net also appears to be causing not a little confusion to some readers. One, trying to find Interactive Investor, one of the main personal finance sites, was bemused to find himself looking at Innovative Interfaces, an American specialist in website software for libraries. Why is there this confusion? It is a simple matter of making sure you know your dot-coms from your dot-co-dot-uks.

On the subject of Interactive Investor, the site has launched a PEP Centre to help the bemused among us find their way round this last-ever PEP-buying season. The first thing you will see on the PEP Centre is a countdown of the number of days remaining to the end of the tax year - 65, as of today.

The PEP Centre is intended to be the first of a series of focused topic sites within the overall Interactive Investor website, which are planned to be launched over the next few months. Similar sites covering other subjects such as mortgages, healthcare products, personal pensions and banks are promised in the near future.

It offers a range of performance data, news and features. The statistics are provided by Standard & Poor's Micropal, one of the industry's leading number-crunchers. You may view shortlists of PEP funds by performance, sector and geographical focus and review the top 10 performing funds over one, three, five and 10 years.

The site also includes links to a list of PEP providers, offering a brochure request service, and news sourced from the financial services' weekly Money Marketing, as well as Interactive Investor's own in-house news.

However, just a word to the wise; while this may be your "last chance" to buy a PEP, that does not make it necessarily the right investment choice for you. With only a couple of months left to run, there is not a lot of point in anyone taking out a monthly PEP saving scheme. Purchasing a PEP right now will really only make sense if you can devote a lump sum to the investment.

Self-assessment: www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/sa/;

Interactive Investor: www.iii.co.uk;

Robin can be reached at: robinamlot@aol.com

News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

Test Lead - London - Investment Banking

£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...

Business Analyst - Banking - Scotland - £380-£480

£380 - £480 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - Edinburgh - £380 - ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn