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What do I need to do my tax return online?

The deadline for online self-assessment tax returns – 31 January - is fast approaching. If you haven’t yet filed a return you’ll need to get your skates on to avoid the hefty new penalties.

Below is a handy checklist of what you need to gather together in order to fill out your return, as well as a reminder of the penalties you face for missing the deadline. What more incentive do you need?

Tax return checklist

  • Unique taxpayer reference (10-digit tax reference found on HM Revenue & Customs paperwork)
  • National insurance number or postcode
  • Activation code. This will be posted to you and must be input afterwards to complete registration.

To fill in the self-assessment:

  • User ID. You will receive this after registering
  • Note of online password
  • Copies or a record of all invoices of self-employed work
  • Receipts of any expenses you want to offset (such as transport or office costs)
  • Pension contributions
  • Details of any charity gifts
  • Note of any other sources of income (savings accounts and buy-to-let property)
  • Interest certificates from savings accounts (not including tax-free products such as ISAs)
  • P60. This applies to those in employment who do additional self-employed work
  • £100 if you’re one day late (up to three months)
  • After three months

    you’re charged £10 for each day late (capped at £900).

  • After six months you will have to pay 5% extra on tax owed, or £300, whichever is greater

National insurance

A scheme originally established in 1944 to provide protection against sickness and unemployment as well as helping fund the National Health Service (NHS) and state benefits. NI contributions are compulsory and based on a person’s earnings above a certain threshold. There are several classes of NI, but which one an individual pays depends on whether they are employed, self-employed, unemployed or an employer. Payment of Class 1 contributions by employees gives them entitlement to the basic state pension, the additional state pension, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. To qualify for the state pension, individuals need 30 years’ of full NI contributions.


The catch-all term applied to investors who buy properties with the sole intention of letting them to tenants rather than living in them themselves, with the proceeds from the let usually used for the repayment of the mortgage. Buy-to-let investors have to take out specialised mortgages that carry higher interest rates and require a much bigger deposit than a standard mortgage. Other expenditure can include legal fees, income tax (on the rental profits you make), capital gains tax (if you sell the property) and “void” periods when the property is unlet.

Category: Taxes

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