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How to Survive the January Self Assessment Rush

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Everyone knows that preparing and filing your annual Self Assessment return is stressful. Between grappling with HMRC’s rules, putting together your evidence of income and allowances and racing against the 31st January deadline, it can feel like an impossible task.

If you’re starting to feel the heat, we’ve compiled a few tips to help ease the stress of a mid-January Self Assessment filing.

Before we begin...

Did you know we can file your Self Assessment for you? Visit us at www.crunch.uk/self-assessment/ for more information. Time is ticking, though, so you’ll need to act fast!

You can also check out our range of helpful Self Assessment articles, including:

1. Invest in cloud accounting software

You might think that the added hassle of investing in cloud software could slow you down in your quest to file before the 31st, but streamlining your bookkeeping is an invaluable way of keeping your head straight and the process efficient. With cloud accounting, you can scan and upload expenses faster, log your mileage and share information with your accountant instantly for faster answers and results.

2. Ask HMRC

HMRC get busier and busier as the month goes on - around deadline day, the phones are almost completely gridlocked as frantic late-filers try and get their last-minute questions answered. So don’t waste time - if you have any doubts, concerns or questions, it’s better to get in as early as possible while you’ve still got a chance. Remember to write down your questions, too - the last thing you need is to get hold of someone and forget three of the four really important things you needed answers to.

3. Submit your Self Assessment with estimates

If time is ticking, you can submit your Self Assessment using estimated figures. You’ll need to be able to explain your estimates, of course, but you can then go back to them and update your return with the additional information when you have it available.

Remember that this should only be considered as a last resort - HMRC won’t accept any old excuse, and they certainly don’t take too kindly to any information they believe has been falsified. Enlist the help of an accountant as soon as you’ve submitted to complete the rest of your Self Assessment, lest you fall foul of penalties and fines.

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