Online tax returns: the first part of the form
By working systematically through your online tax return, you will supply all the information required to discharge your responsibilities without having to complete unnecessary sections
One of the most compelling reasons for completing your tax return online is that the document will automatically be tailored to ensure you only have to complete those sections that are relevant to you, which will save you time and hassle.
In order to do this, the first part of the online tax return asks you to supply basic personal information and then checks which parts of the form aren’t necessary for you to
complete. This initial chunk of the tax return is split into three sections:
In Section 1 (see above), the online tax return begins with a welcome screen that includes a brief overview of what the process entails and explains who is entitled to use the free HMRC service. It also details in what circumstances you will need to use a commercial software provider. If you are covered by these criteria, you will still be
able to file online, but not using HMRC’s free service.
Section 2, asks you to enter your personal details, including your date of birth, address and telephone number.
Any information that you have provided previously will be automatically completed, though you can change the details at this stage if they are incorrect.
THE NEXT THREE PAGES OF THE ONLINE RETURN:
Section 3 – enable you to tailor the return so that you only need to fill in the pages that are relevant to you. They establish the different types of income you have received over the year, the tax reliefs you wish to claim and a number of other details required to ensure the rest of the form is personalised in the right way.
- The first page of this section asks about your employment status, income from property in the UK and chargeable gains.
- The next page asks whether you have had income from investment, whether you have any losses to claim and whether you have been receiving Child Benefit.
- The final page in this section asks about deductions and allowances you want to claim, whether you have a tax adviser and whether you are filling in the form on someone else’s behalf.
The online tax return service includes a built-in help facility which provides very valuable assistance just as you need it. Next to most questions on the tax return you will see a help icon – a circle with a question mark inside. Clicking on this icon opens a box that gives specific guidance to help you answer that particular question.
HMRC’s website also carries an online demonstration of how to fill in your tax return, with a walk-through of the entire form. Alternatively, you can call HMRC’s self-assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310. The service is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, and on Saturdays between 8am and 4pm. If you have a technical query about online filing, rather than a question about tax, the number to call is 0300 200 3600. If you are in need to call HMRC be prepared that you might have to wait in excess of 30 minutes before your call will be picked up by someone.
If you are in rush or haven’t got time to wait that long, do not hesitate drop us a line or call we will be more than happy to serve you with an advice.