Getting help to complete your tax return
In the lead up to the 31 January 2018 self-assessment tax return deadline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are providing a variety of digital products to support taxpayers, including webinars and videos. Here we give you a round-up of the help they have available.
HMRC are offering free webinars to help you complete your self-assessment tax return, including:
Self-assessment Help and Support: This webinar covers general questions about your tax return. Book here.
How to complete your online tax return if you’re self employed: This webinar will cover signing in and completing the self-employment section, viewing your calculation and budgeting for your payments. Book here.
How to complete your online tax return if you have income from property: This webinar is for individuals who receive income from letting residential property and will cover the completion of the property page of the tax return. It is not suitable for businesses or commercial lettings. Book here.
They are holding the webinars over several times and dates so you can select the option that works best for you. Webinars can last up to an hour. Register and log in at least 5 minutes before a live webinar is due to start.
To ask questions – use the on-screen textbox and the HMRC representative will send a response. They cannot check your records and they cannot discuss anything confidential, but they can answer general questions.
You can also watch pre-recorded webinars about:
- who must send a return
- starting your online return
- employment pages
- self-employment section (turnover below VAT threshold)
- self-employment section (turnover above VAT threshold)
- the UK property section
- other income to enter on your Self Assessment
- tax relief for individuals
- finishing your return
You can watch recorded webinars at any time but you will need to register first. For the full list of webinars available please go to GOV.UK.
HMRC’s YouTube channel has a range of short videos on 'self-assessment' covering topics such as:
- Having problems signing in to send your tax return online?
- Expenses if you are self-employed
- Calculating motoring expenses
- Paying your self-assessment tax bill
- Viewing your calculation
For the full list of videos please go to the self-assessment area of HMRC’s YouTube channel.
If you are self-employed, you can dip into the 'business expenses for the self-employed' e-learning guide, available at a time that suits you.
Other HMRC help
To help you budget for your self-assessment tax bill, there’s a handy 'Ready Reckoner’ tool on GOV.UK.
HMRC’s Small Business Online Forum is a quick and easy way for small businesses to get answers to their tax questions, including on completing tax returns. Ask questions anytime or check the Bulletin Board to find the date of a Q&A session.
You can follow HMRC on Twitter, @HMRCBusiness to stay updated with the latest information available.
Please note that the HMRC resources look at some of the main rules under each topic but due to their nature, cannot be comprehensive. It is important to understand that tax law is a complicated area. If you are unsure at all about your situation, you should seek further clarification or ensure you take proper advice based on your circumstances, rather than acting or refraining to act based on any of HMRC's content.
What if I still need help to prepare a tax return?
See our website for further information on self-assessment.
We understand that it can be daunting to prepare a tax return and you may want to get some expert help. If you can afford to, you could consult a professional Chartered Tax Adviser. See the Chartered Institute of Taxation's website.
If you are on a low income, you could contact the charity TaxAid for help if you need it. TaxAid offer free, independent and confidential advice on tax matters to UK taxpayers on a low income and who are aged under 60, or who are self-employed.