Self-Assessment Tax Returns (SATRs) may feel like a drag, but it’s vital you get them right. As deadlines are fast approaching, now is the time to take action in order to get organised and avoid hefty financial penalties for late or missed submissions.  

Not everyone needs to complete an SATR but you will if one of the following apply to you:

  • You're either self-employed, in a business partnership or you’re a director of a limited company.
  • You're either an employee or pensioner and have an annual income of over £100,000.
  • You have investment incomes (pre-tax) totaling £10,000 or more.
  • You're a representative or trustee of somebody who has died.

It’s worth noting that anyone who receives a self-assessment tax return from HMRC must complete and submit it – it’s a legal obligation. Those who miss the deadline and submit their tax return late will face a penalty, which may also include surcharges and interest on the outstanding tax you owe HMRC.

When are the deadlines?

The deadline for submitting paper tax returns was 31st October 2016. This means time really is now at a premium for individuals who still have submit their return.

The deadline for submitting tax returns online is 31st January 2017 – a little later than for their paper counterparts. However, as with paper returns, it pays to be proactive and ensure you’re well prepared.

What information is required?

As many will attest from previous tax nightmares, locating and organising the required information is key to meeting impending tax deadlines. Now is the time to double-check your sources of income, dig out details relating to interest, dividends and other commonly overlooked factors that can put a last-minute spanner in the works. Ask yourself ‘what has changed since your last SATR?’ 

However, as a bare minimum you are likely to require the following basic information to complete your SATR:

  • Your P60 – The figure you provide for your income must be exact – it cannot be an estimate.
  • Details of bank accounts and building societies.
  • Information relating to any dividends.
  • An overview of your self-employment income – this needs to include any invoices or receipts that may be considered deductible.

What next?

Unfortunately, running out of time is not a genuine reason for failing to complete your SATR, so if time is against you it is vital to seek assistance. The onus is on you to ensure your tax affairs are in order. A good bookkeeper / accountant can be a life saver at this time of year, so if you still have a return to submit or you’re still unsure about what you need to do to prepare for it, get in touch with them immediately. If you don’t have a bookkeeper/accountant or require an experienced opinion on the next steps for you, contact TFMC and we will be only too happy to help.

John Stolliday
John Stolliday

John Stolliday runs The Financial Management Centre in Luton East. John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and bookkeeper (MICB) with UK and Middle East experience in the construction and building services sectors, handling company turnovers up to £100m and staff of 15. John has held senior roles, up to board level, in civil engineering, industrial engineering, pipelines, general building and building maintenance companies.