300,000 Reasons to Double Check Your Self-Assessment

Self-employed workers are being urged to double check their self-assessment for accuracy after it was revealed that HMRC opened more than 300,000 tax return investigations last year.
It has also been revealed that one-third of self-assessors could be paying too much tax.
Just ahead of the January 31 deadline, it has been revealed that the tax authority opened 300,762 new tax investigations in 2019 and received £1.2bn in extra tax from investigations into self-assessment tax returns in 2018/19.

HMRC Launches New Online Customer Forum

HMRC has launched a new set of Community Forums designed to make it easier for taxpayers to get their tax questions answered.

If you have a question about property income, VAT, expenses, Making Tax Digital, Self Assessment, Brexit or a whole range of other topics, you can submit a question to be answered by an HMRC expert.

The forums are split into a range of different subject areas and taxpayers can use a search function to search for a question that may have already been answered.

Half of small businesses have lost money on self-assessment

A survey of small businesses has revealed that 49% have, at some point, lost money through self-assessment submission errors, either through paying fines or by paying additional tax.

The survey, conducted by a cloud accountancy software company, also asked small businesses for their opinions about the new Making Tax Digital initiatives that will change the way that small businesses pay tax.

Of the 1,000 respondents, 62% said that they were prepared for the changes, with 20% reporting that they weren’t aware of the changes.

Where to get help with your self-assessment

Every year around 11 million Brits are required to submit and pay a self-assessment tax return by January 31.

Many people are already way ahead of the game, with around 3,000 people completing their returns on Christmas Day and about 50,000 filing on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

But with the deadline looming large, many more are looking for help to fill in their online forms. In this blog post, we look at some of the best sources of help for self-assessment strugglers, but first, we’ll find out who actually needs to complete a tax return.

Submitting Your Self-Assessment Fast This Christmas

Christmas is a popular time for submitting Self-Assessments to HMRC ahead of the 31 January deadline.

Last year, 16,000 people submitted their tax return online between 24 and 26 December. This included more than 2,500 submissions on Christmas Day and almost 7,700 the day after on Boxing Day.

More than 17,000 people also submitted their Self-Assessments on the New Year’s Day bank holiday.

FreeAgent warning to eBay sellers and Airbnb renters

With the January 31 tax deadline fast approaching, accounting software company FreeAgent has warned anyone earning money through Airbnb, eBay, Gumtree and other websites to check their tax status before they land in hot water with HM Revenue and Customs.

FreeAgent believes that many people earning money on these sites are not aware that they need to declare the income.

Failing to pay before the January 31 self-assessment deadline will result in an automatic £100 fine. And after HMRC announced a new computer-powered crackdown on ‘sharing economy’ microbusinesses, many individuals could face further penalties for not paying tax owed.