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COMMON ERRORS MADE ON TAX RETURNS

Every year, there is always a frantic rush to beat the Self-Assessment tax return deadline of 31 January. Not least because filing your tax return late will cost you a minimum of £100 penalty and no-one wants to give the tax man anything extra.

It’s infinitely better to file an accurate tax return, than to file an incorrect one just to hit the deadline. But in the rush to hit the deadline, mistakes are often made. So, here’s a roundup of the most common mistakes which HMRC see:

- inaccurate national insurance numbers

- inaccurate unique taxpayer reference numbers

- forgetting to include any benefits you may be receiving, such as child benefit

- forgetting about non-UK income, such as rental income from a holiday home abroad

- explaining any unusual transactions, like selling a second property

- not declaring interest on savings accounts

- not declaring pensions income

- not including gains or income from your life insurance policy, if applicable

- omitting cryptocurrency gains

- claiming for expenses which cannot be evidenced

And, if your tax return looks substantially different from last year, HMRC is going to want to know why.

A concise explanation on your tax return will go a long way in helping to avoid a tax investigation into your accounts. It’s a mistake to assume it will go unnoticed by the tax man. Maybe you lost a major client, dealt with a serious illness, or incurred some exceptional costs. Keep your explanation factual and clear and this will help mitigate the possibility of a tax enquiry.

“It’s often better to get professional help for your annual tax return,” said Afford Bond’s Tax Director, Chris Regnauld. “Submitting incorrect information can result in additional penalties being imposed by HMRC. If it’s deemed that you didn’t take reasonable care when entering your figures on to your return, HMRC can impose penalties of up to 30% of the extra tax due. If it is deemed that your error was ‘deliberate’, the penalties - in some situations - can increase to 100% of the additional tax.”

Cheshire Accountants Afford Bond have offices in Nantwich and Wilmslow and a team of fully qualified accountants available to help you with your tax return and self assessment forms – for further information, please contact Chris.Regnauld@affordbond.com or complete the Contact Us form here on our website.