Five Common Self Assessment Mistakes

It’s so nearly here. Self Assessment time seems to come around quicker than ever; was it not just yesterday you were panicking about making the 2016 deadline?

With this year’s deadline just days away, now is the time to double, triple and quadruple check your return for any glaring mistakes; trust us, they’re more common than you think.

Here are five of the most common Self Assessment mistakes that happen each year – make sure you look out for them in yours!

Failing to declare all income

Many company directors use the Self Assessment return to record all the information required from their company, quite correctly. However, there are some who fail to realise that in the Self Assessment return you are obligated to record all information of any personal income.

So, if you rent out a property, have been left an inheritance or receive personal income from any other source within this tax year, you need to notify HMRC via your Self Assessment return.

Incorrect Unique Taxpayer Reference

When you’re hurriedly filling out all the information you need to because you’re cutting it close to the deadline, it’s oh so easy to miss a letter, number or even an entire section!

Don’t make this mistake, and always leave yourself time to give it one last look over before you submit. One of the biggest mistakes HMRC see every year is an incorrect Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

This is the ten digit reference number that is cited in each of your correspondence with HMRC. Make sure it is correct before you write it in your return!

Missing the deadline

One of the ultimate errors people make when submitting their Self Assessment return is failing to submit them by the deadline. Not only will this cost you a hefty penalty courtesy of HMRC (£100 if your return is up to three months late), it will cause a lot of added stress to your accountant.

Avoid this mistake and submit your Self Assessment as early as possible – no one needs that added stress!

Attempting to claim unclaimable expenses

Before you send off your tax return, it’s best to make sure the expenses you’re claiming are ones that you can actually claim for.

Each year there is a number of people who attempt to claim expenses which they are unable to claim. It’s best to check with your accountant for everything that you’re claiming for – you may be caught out by assuming you can claim for something when in fact, you can’t!

Incorrect record keeping

One of the biggest errors that can be made when sending off your return (aside from missing the deadline) is simply a wrong sum.

If you’ve made one mistake early on in your bookkeeping records, then it’s more than likely that the rest of your return will be wrong too.

Make sure you check your calculations over and even ask your accountant to go over them before you submit.

Are you guilty of making one of these Self Assessment errors? Or did you submit your tax return months ago? Share your Self Assessment thoughts in the comment section below!


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