Get a user ID now
If you’re submitting your Self Assessment return online for the first time, you’ll need to register to use HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) online services. An Activation Code will be posted to you, which will take up to seven working days to arrive. So, register now to receive your Activation Code in good time.
If you’ve filed online before, check you still have your user ID and password to hand. It can take seven working days to get replacements, so you will need to order them now if you’ve mislaid them.
Whether you submit your tax return yourself or you use an accountant, consider filing early – that way you avoid the risk of a penalty for late submission. If HMRC receives your tax return after the January 31 deadline, you could be liable for a £100 penalty.
The Self Assessment Online service is available 24 hours a day for you or your accountant to log on and file your return. You can avoid the busiest times by using the service between 5pm and 8am, Monday to Friday.
Your reference number
If you’re using an accountant, make sure you give them your Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR). Using the correct UTR will avoid processing delays and ensure your data is captured against the right record. You receive a UTR when you register for Self Assessment.
You’ll need details of your business accounts for the tax year ended 5 April 2010, for example, your spreadsheets of income and expenditure, bank and credit card statements, invoices from customers and expenses receipts. You’ll also need to provide details of any other income such as interest on bank and building society accounts or income from stocks and shares.
If you’re paying into a pension plan, you’ll need records showing how much you paid during the tax year 2009/10.
Need help filling in your return?
Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 900 0444.