January 31st is the deadline for submitting your tax return online to the HMRC. Depending on your circumstances you may want to submit as early as you can (to collect a rebate) or delay as long as possible (to postpone paying). For me it’s a matter of good housekeeping to have a final review before the window shuts*
I already made the family submission for me and my wife in April. We invest in VCTs, have different interest and dividend streams, charitable giving, pension payments etc… that it’s all a bit complicated.
Being in a couple means that we can move assets between ourselves to minimise our overall tax burden and if you don’t understand your tax position, you could be losing out on a lot of money.
There are some subtleties that you need to keep an eye out for, for example:
- were you bank interest payments made gross or net?
- did you have bad debt on P2P loans (or recoveries)?
- how much did Oxfam make of that bag of tat that you donated?
The funniest thing that I have found is that the HMRC calculator can’t work out pennies – so I always pay a penny over a pound into our pensions and to charity etc… If you pay £500.01 into a SIPP then the HMRC thinks that £501. That could mean a 40p increase in tax relief for a higher rate tax payer – which you might not think is much but it adds up to a couple of quid over the years.
GFF does not in any way suggest you commit tax evasion or fraud. The HMRC will probably get you in the long run and it’s just not worth it. If you need to be dishonest to live the life you lead, your life is a false one and you lack character! So, filling in your tax return honestly is the only way to do things.
Anyway, it’s all done now and we are happily out of the gaze of the HMRC.
*ok – you can amend passed tax years, but this is a good way of closing off last tax year and looking forward to a new submission in April