BLOG: Filing your self-assessment tax return online

Although it is still possible to file your completed paper copy of the self-assessment tax return, there are so many more advantages to filing online. There are several differences between filing a paper copy of a return and filing electronically, although more people are now filing online as they realise the benefits of doing so.

Registering online

Since some people are still not connected to the internet and are unable to file electronically, it is still possible to complete a paper tax return. If you file a paper copy, you can never be totally sure that the tax return will definitely reach HMRC. Filing online is a secure method and your completed self-assessment tax return will definitely reach its destination, with an acknowledgement to reassure you, generally in the form of an email.

Prior to submitting your completed tax return, it’s crucial to allow a number of days to register yourself online with HMRC. You will be asked for your details and will be sent a Unique Taxpayer Reference number. Allow plenty of time to register before the deadline, as it may take some time and you could end up with a penalty if you fail to submit your return.

Later deadlines

If you still file a paper copy of your tax return, you will have to submit it by 31st October each year. If you file online, you will have until 31st January to complete and submit the form. This means you have an extra three months to complete and submit your form.

Speed and ease of use

If you complete a paper copy of your tax return, you will have less time to complete the document and will have to make sure that you don't make errors, as these are difficult to remove from paper. If you file online, you can correct any errors as you go along, while the system will flag up any obvious errors. You can complete your online tax return in the comfort of your own home, or outsource to your accounting service. Once the return is ready to post, a simple click of the button will ensure that the return is reached before the deadline. A paper copy may not reach its destination, and will take longer to get there, potentially incurring a penalty.

To ensure that you meet the January 2016 deadline for filing your return, why not consult us to discuss any concerns you have about completion?

Blog written by, Philip Ross from Sollertia Ltd.

Contact Philip on 0845 0946 202 for more information, or email