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Don't let the self-assessment deadline haunt you

What does the Self Assessment have to do with Halloween? Both make our knees shake just thinking about it. And so it happens that the deadline for paper returns falls on the same day as All Hollows Eve - October 31st.

You have exactly the week from today to file the paper form and come up with the winner Halloween costume. Although I can only give you tips on the former.

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File early

One of the advantages of filling out the paper form is that you will find out the amount of the tax you have to pay before the payment due date of 31st of January. You can always file your returns online (well, until 31st January) - but why not do it now and have it over with?

Fill out the form

If you have not received the form in the post you can find it on HMRC website. If your turn over comes below £77,000 and you've only simple taxes to file - fill out the short form. There are some supplementary pages to fill out if your taxes are more complex and if your turnover is higher.

Don't forget about expenses

Have you included all of your expenses in the form? If you're filling out the self-assessment for the first time make sure you check my previous post on the types of expenses you should be claiming. Perhaps you're missing something out?

Make copies, keep receipts

After you have filled out all the pages and double (triple) checked them - make copies and keep a copy of the sent receipt from the post office - in case your forms are lost in post. HMRC will not notify you when they get your form but they will get in touch when it has been processed.

Avoid penalties

Filing later than 31st of October (in paper) or 31st of January (online) will get you a hefty fine starting with £100 for the first day and varying on the amount of days you're late.

So, just do it now. Avoid the penalties and get on with your current financial year.

You can work out your turnover from your records in Debitoor. And if the tax man ever needs to double check anything you will have those records ready and saved safely online.