How to file your tax return online

There are lots of advantages to filing your tax return online, but it’s easy to make mistakes and you face costly fines should you miss the deadline. Moneywise TV explains the right way to file your tax return.

If you want to file your tax return online the deadline is midnight on the 31 January. Although the deadline for paper-based self-assessment is 31 October, anyone filing it online gets an additional three months.

Apart from the extra time, there are many other advantages to filing online instead of by paper. For example, it's safe and secure as you will be given an encrypted account and password, and online tax returns are also processed faster than paper returns. That means if the taxman owes you any money you'll get your hands on it sooner.

So how do you complete your tax return online? If it is your first time filing a tax return, you will need to register at the HM Revenue and Customs website. Once registered, you will be sent a unique user ID and activation code in the post, so allow seven working days for them to arrive.

To complete your registration you will also need your unique taxpayer reference number and either your postcode or National Insurance number. You'll find your Unique Taxpayer Reference on letters from HM Revenue & Customs or you can contact your Tax Office and ask for it. If you're new to Self Assessment, your unique taxpayer reference will be on your welcome letter.

Your tax is worked out automatically as you complete the form, so you know exactly what you owe or are owed straightaway. In addition, if you file online you'll get an immediate, on-screen acknowledgement that the return has been received.

It's vital you file your tax return on time as any late returns will automatically incur a £100 penalty and you could end up paying interest on any tax you owe.

Your Comments

It's really amazing how much easier the Internet has made doing my taxes. I often efile 1040 online these days.