Filling in my tax return

These days there are less and less reasons not to set up on your own. It is possible to find work on a multitude of free sites such as oDesk, PeoplePerHour and many more. With personal websites and twitter you can advertise yourself for free and fairly small sums will get you targeted advertising on Google and Facebook. However one of the big worries I had about working for myself was paperwork and tax in particular. Last month I signed on to be self employed. I said I would record how I found filling in a tax return. I have no previous knowledge of filling in one and am interested to see if it is easier or not than I fear

So its just before 9am and I start by turning my desk upside down to find my log in details. Well it’s not a good start, I reset my password and get sent a new one. Only problem is the system doesn’t recoginse it and its 12 when I manage to sign in with the new details.

The form itself really does try its best to use English but naturally I have no idea if my student loan is an “Income Contingent Student Loan” or not. There end up being a lot like this technically English but unintelligible to most. Jargon I guess. As always Google has the answers. Personal details  take an easy two minutes. Next is a section “Tailor your return” where you decide which bits of the tax return you need to fill in. Again not too bad but slightly annoying but there seams to be a whole section for charitable giving. Well that’s going to put me off in the future. 

On the main return it suddenly becomes apparent how valuable my well kept record of income and outgoings is. Nothing snazzy just one long list of them in an exercise book I got for £1.99. Every so often I have totaled my earnings and making sure one of these totals was on the 5th of April and I am able to just read it off. Excellent! After inputting all these numbers I select no for a variety of allowances and exemptions (No I am not of state pension age (I do believe my personal details included D.O.B)). After this my progress has jumped from 48% to 90%.

Next was entering the interest I had earn on my accounts in the year. This could have taken a while to calculate but both of my accounts provided ready “tax certificates” where the total is shown. Something I didn’t know and another set of things way easier than I thought.

And that is it. If only I had remembered my password I could have done it in under an hour.