You will receive a fine from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you file a tax return late or fail to file one at all. Filing a tax return on time does not mean you pay less tax, but at least you can avoid paying any penalty.

We have put together this simple guide to help you unravel the filing process.

How to register with HMRC

You will need to first register with HMRC for self-assessment before you can file a tax return.

You can register with HMRC either by completing a form on HMRC’s website or by completing a paper form which you then post to HMRC.

If you are self-employed, you must register with HMRC immediately when you set up your business.

If your business is a partnership, you will need to register your business for partnership tax and each individual partner will need to register to file a tax return.

You must register by 5th October following the end of the relevant tax year. So for example, for the tax year ending March 2015/2016, you must register with HMRC by 5 October 2017.

How to file your self-assessment tax return

Once you return your completed application form, provided HMRC have all the information they need, they aim to send you a letter with a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) within 10 working days.

Once you receive your UTR, you can log back onto HMRC’s system to complete the tax return or complete and return a paper tax return.

Time limits

The time limits for filing a tax return are strict. HMRC charge a £100 fine if your tax return is up to 3 months late and the fine increases thereafter.

Paper tax returns must be submitted by midnight on 31 October 2017 while online tax returns must be submitted by 31 January 2018.

Contact our Accountants in Melton Mowbray today for more assistance with filing your self-assessment tax return.