24th October 2023Avoid the October 31st scaries by filing your self-assessment online!

The deadline for individuals choosing to complete their self-assessment via post means you have until the 31st October (aka Halloween) for HMRC to receive all the necessary paperwork.

With only seven days until the deadline, Stevie Heafford, Tax Partner at HW Fisher, outlines who needs to complete a self-assessment and the common mistakes to avoid.

“Earlier this year, HMRC revealed that 96% of people completed their self-assessment online last year. This shows that while an overwhelming majority prefer to complete digitally, there are still some individuals who choose to complete their return via post.

 “If you are planning to complete a paper self-assessment return, remember that the 31st October deadline is the date by which HMRC needs to receive all necessary paperwork – not the last day that you can send your return off. If you don’t think you will have enough time, don’t be spooked –  you can still decide to complete your return online, for which the deadline is the 31st January 2024.”

Do you need to file a tax return?

You must submit a tax return if you have self-employed earnings or have received untaxed income over £1,000 or if HMRC have issued a notice to complete one.

However, it’s not just the self-employed who have to complete their self-assessment tax returns. You will also have to file if you have any untaxed income from:

  • money from renting out a property, including through Airbnb
  • savings, investments and dividends
  • foreign income

Avoid a web of mistakes by following these five tips

  1. Allow yourself plenty of time. Gathering all the paperwork takes longer than you think. This includes your P60 which will confirm the total tax deducted at source from your income. You will also need a record of benefits and expenses which can be found on your P11D or P9D forms. If you have left a job in the last tax year, you will also need a P45 from your previous employer.
  2. Don’t forget to claim tax relief on pension contributions. Make sure you keep details of any pension contributions made to allow you to claim the right tax relief for them.
  3. Make sure you include charity gift aid payments. You will also need details of all your gift aid payments – e.g., have you sponsored a friend to run for charity? This can be included as HMRC provides some tax relief on charitable giving.
  4. Keep a proof of postage on file in case there are any postal delays. You should keep a copy of your completed tax return and related documents.
  5. Remember your starting rate for savings, personal savings allowance and dividend allowance. You could receive up to £5,000 in interest on savings tax-free in addition to your personal allowance and personal savings allowance. These allowances are reduced depending on income levels. There is also the dividend allowance which is currently £1,000.

Stevie adds: “To avoid the risk of your return getting lost in the post, and to give yourself more time to make sure you’ve included everything in your return, we’d always recommend completing your return online. If you’ve not done it this way before, don’t worry – the process is very simple and there’s plenty of advice and tutorials available on HMRC’s website that you can follow.”


Key contacts

Stevie Heafford

07748 537469
Contact Stevie Heafford
Connect with Stevie Heafford
Download vCard

Contact us

We’d love to hear from you. To book an appointment or to find out more about our services: