Self Assessment – Don’t Panic !
13th January 2011
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It’s that time of year again, HMRC adverts on TV, Radio, Newspapers – all reminding us to file our Self Assessments by 31st January 2011.

Please don’t panic – even if you haven’t thought about your tax return yet, there’s no need to panic, but it is time to think about it now – so, the main points to consider are:

1. Timescale – HMRC need details on your income for the period 6th April 2009 to 5th April 2010.

2. Deadline – all self assessments now have to be filed online by midnight 31st January 2011, the options to file any other way have now all past.

3. Registration – to register for online filing is a simple process, usually takes around 7 to 10 days for an activation code, therefore you will need to register by 21st January to ensure you meet the 31st January filing deadline.  Please follow the link to HMRC website and follow the links to register via ‘Do it online”

4. User ID and Password – have you filed online in previous years ? if so, you will have a user ID and Password – you will need this to complete your online filing – can’t find it ? still don’t panic – link to “Do it online “ on HMRC website, and select “Lost User ID” or “Lost Password” then they will be sent out to you, usually taking about 7 days to process, so please bear this in mind.

5. Payment - all taxes due to be paid to HMRC must be paid in full by midnight 31st January 2011.  There are multiple ways to pay, the most direct being online, but please bear in mind timescales for the payment to clear if you are considering paying by cheque, at the post office, or by bank automated credits.

6. Penalties – HMRC do issue penalties for Self Assessment tax returns filed late, so please file by midnight on 31st January 2011.  The penalty is a fixed £100 for late returns and payments.

7. Help – there is always help available, the question is ‘how much help do you need ?’ if you are completing your self assessment yourself, HMRC website is now quite user friendly and you should find everything you need on the website.  If you need help part way through the assessment filing, save the return you have completed so far and email me at  – if it’s a simple question, or you just want to be sure you are completing a section correctly, I will be happy to advise you the best I can to enable you to complete the return.

8. Accountants - if your accountant is completing your self assessment, they will need to have authority to act on your behalf.  You should check with them that everything is in place for them to file your Self Assessment return by the January deadline.

9. Responsibility - it is your responsibility to ensure your Self Assessment return and all taxes due are paid by the January deadline, not your Accountants, although most Accountants will ensure your meet all your legal deadlines for yourself and your business.

10. Relax – when you have confirmation of a successfully filed Self Assessment return, relax, feel good about being up-to-date, pat yourself on the back - this wasn’t why you became self employed, this is added administration, but it has to be done – you will feel better when you know everything is up-to-date and filed !

Remember help is only a phone call or an email away ...  Self Assessment should not put you into ‘panic’ mode.

 If you require any assistance please call JD Figures on 01922 214033 / 07885 268600 or email at

To view our clients testimonials please link to

About the Author

Jane D

Member since: 18th March 2011

J D Figures Ltd works with you to reduce risk and cost, maximising profitability.

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