Common mistakes in self-assessment returns

Our experts share the most common mistakes they see on tax returns so you don't make the same mistakes

We at DSR Tax Claims know how difficult and complicated it can be when you are filling in your self-assessment tax returns. While it is especially tricky for first-timers, even seasoned tax-returners can find themselves making mistakes which can cost them. Luckily, our team of experts are here to help you out by pointing out some of the more common mistakes that people make when filling in their tax returns and how you can avoid them. You could also check our handy online calculator to see if you could be eligible for a tax refund or call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 and let us get your maximum refund fast.

Common self-assessment mistakes

Here are a few of the mistakes that our experts at DSR Tax Claims see on a regular basis. Of course, our tax preparation specialists can take the strain out of your taxes with our self-assessment service so call us on 0330 122 9972.

Mistakes include:

  • Missing the deadline! Massive mistake this one – even if your taxes are all accurate and complete, just missing the 31st of January deadline by just one day will cost you a penalty of £100. Paper tax returns have to be filed even earlier on the 31st of October. To save yourself as much hassle as possible, stick to online returns wherever possible and make sure that you know when the deadline is.
  • Getting your figures wrong! HMRC want to see exact figures, not guesstimates, so make sure that you are using the correct figures and go back and check of you’re not sure. It is always worth that bit extra effort in the long run. Thankfully, the online self-assessment forms do a lot of the calculations for you but double-check the amounts you are entering – mistakes can happen pretty easily.
  • Missing out on the details! HMRC want to see a complete overview of your finances and will be ready to jump on any areas of your self-assessment where you have skipped some of the details. The self-assessment online service allows you to save your progress, so you don’t have to get it all done in one go if you are still waiting for a few figures to come back to you. But don’t miss the deadline for completing them.
  • Missing the smaller stuff! Make sure you know the essentials, like your National Insurance number and your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and double-check that you have entered them correctly. If you are not sure of either, then you can find them on any HMRC correspondence you have received. Make sure you have signed and dated your paper return, make sure you have signed your Letter of Authorisation if you use a tax agent – all of these things can mean that you get into hot water with your tax return.
  • Getting your expenses all messed up! As you may well know if you have been reading through our guides, what you can and can’t claim for as business expenses can be complicated and HMRC take a dim view of people claiming what they shouldn’t. if you are in any doubt, our experts can help you out so give them a call on 0330 122 9972 and let them put you straight.
  • Missing out other important details. It is really important to give HMRC a full account of your finances, so this needs to include all your income streams, such as income from property rental, any benefits you claim, stock dividends and so on. You can also add information under the “Additional Information” page if you don’t think it fits anywhere else.
  • Not keeping good records! If you are claiming it, you need to be able to prove it and that means keeping good business records. If you can’t prove it, HMRC might think you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes, which is not a good thing.

What if you make a mistake?

As soon as you realise you have made an effort, you need to make steps to resolve it. You should have 12 months after the filing deadline to make any corrections and if you have missed that deadline, still make sure you let HMRC know. Of course, if you are a DSR Tax Claims client then you don’t need to worry about this as we deal with HMRC on your behalf so we can sort it out for you – call us on 0330 122 9972 and let our experts work for you.

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