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A last minute guide to online self-assessment submissions

With the deadline for making self-assessment submissions online a little over 48 hours away, if you haven’t yet completed this process you need to act fast. However, don’t despair, as there’s still time for you to get your submissions in to HMRC within the due date.

If you want to avoid the automatic £100 late penalty, you just need to maintain a cool head and follow this guide:

Are you registered?

At this late stage, let’s hope you have already registered for self-assessment, because the deadline for that was 5th October, 2014. If you haven’t, your best bet is to get in touch with HMRC directly and explain your situation.

To make your submission via the Internet, you will need an online account. Again, you will have hopefully already completed this stage of the process, because you need to be sent an activation code that can take up to seven days to arrive.

The free online service

There are a number of areas covered in HMRC’s free self-assessment online service, including self-employment, employment, UK property income, and foreign income, as well as any money you receive as a partner in a business partnership.

Even if you don’t have to pay any tax, submissions still have to be made so that HMRC can see this is the case. If you have to pay tax, the amount owed from the previous tax year (in this case, 2013/14) has to be transferred by midnight this Saturday (31st January). If you owe more than £1,000, you may also have to make ‘payments on account’, which are effectively instalments due 31st January and 31st July.

Payment routes

You have a few options when paying HMRC. Today, using your debit or credit card online is probably the most straightforward method, but you can also settle the amount owed via telephone banking or in person at your local bank, post office or building society.

Whichever approach you choose, it’s worth noting just how long it will take for the payment to be reflected on HMRC’s end of the process, so you don’t accidentally miss the deadline.

The main point to take into account is this: you are not alone. A huge number of people – 578,000 in 2013, according to the Guardian – leave their returns to the last possible minute. If the rush has caused you a lot of stress this year, at least you can learn from your experience and give yourself more time next year.

Posted by Mark
January 29, 2015
Features

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