For those who have an accountant acting on your behalf they will be in a position to submit your return online using either commercial software or H M Revenue & Custom’s (HMRC) own system. However for those you intend to submit their own return and espicially those submitting electroncically for the first time here are some useful pointers.
Firstly HMRC state that filing your tax return online is safe and secure - your account is encrypted, and protected by your chosen password and a unique User ID that's sent only to you. The system has been operating for a few years now and early problems seem to have been eradicated.
To register as a new user go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/index and follow the link “Do It On-line” and select “Self Assessment”. From this point select options and then answer the various questions asked. At the end of the this stage you will be provided with a unique User ID on screen. This will be followed by an activation code which will be sent seperately via the post and can take up to seven days to arrive.
When making your registration ensure you have your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and National Insurance number to hand. You'll find your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) on correspondence from HMRC or you can contact your Tax Office and ask for it - it can only be sent in the post to your home address.
Once you have both your User ID and Activation Code, you'll need to log in using your User ID and chosen password. From here, follow the instructions to activate Self Assessment Online. You must do this within 28 days. After this time your Activation Code will no longer be valid. Once you've activated the service you can destroy the Activation Code.
You can now complete your online Tax Return and this can be done at any time of day or night and you get an instant acknowledgment as soon as HMRC receives your tax return. Remember to save your completed return and to print out a copy for your records.
The online system will also automatically calculate your tax liability as you complete the form, so you know what you owe or are owed right away. Again remember that to avoid any possible charges, all outstanding tax liabilities for the year ended 5 April 2010 must be received by HMRC before midnight on the 31 January 2011.
If you need any help or advice with regards to Self Assessment Tax Returns please call the Peninsula Advice Service on 01455 852555 and one of our specialists will be happy to help.