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08:40 on Wednesday
7 March 2001

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Positively Peterborough

'Tis the season to Self Assess


City based tax experts, i.e. taxguard, are warning those behind with their tax affairs to take positive action early in the new year. Hidden amongst the mountains of Christmas cards delivered this week will be less pleasant reminders from the Inland Revenue, asking taxpayers to file their Self Assessment Tax Return for 1999/2000 and pay their tax bill by the end of January, or else face penalties and surcharges.

In previous years the reminders for Tax Returns have caused worry and confusion as many were sent to taxpayers who had already sent in their return, only for it to sit "unprocessed" in an Inland Revenue office.

i.e. taxguard's Technical Director, Keith Pike, commented, "If you submitted your Tax Return by early December you should have received a statement of your tax position, together with the appropriate payment slip. However, if you have not sent in your Return yet you will receive a reminder letter, emphasising the nasty things that happen if you don't meet the 31st January deadline, and a blank payslip so you can pay the tax that you "self assess" to be due".

Whilst most of us are unlikely to work on our Tax Return over the holidays, except as an excuse to escape from assorted children and relatives, it must be with the Inland Revenue by 31st January if you are to avoid a penalty of up to 100. Keith Pike advises "Be prepared to spend up to 5 hours with the form and instructions and don't expect to get it all finished in one go. You may have to write off for an important piece of additional information or request extra pages". There are up to eight supplementary pages that you may need to submit with your tax return, depending on your sources of income or capital gains, but the Inland Revenue will only have sent you the ones that they think you need.

You will also have the tricky task of "self assessing" your tax liability for the year using the 29 page tax calculation booklet. It is vital that the figure in every box is correct as the calculation builds on each earlier box. For example, the instruction for calculating the figure to go in box C12.9 on the form is as follows:

Box C12.4 minus (C12.5 + C12.7 + C12.8) - if positive = Tax you owe

So if you want to avoid being one of the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who get a penalty notice from the Inland Revenue each year, i.e. taxguard recommends your new year's resolution should be to complete your Tax Return as soon as possible and pay any tax due by 31st January.

December 2000

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