Self Assessment Late Tax Return Excuses

Late Self Assessment Tax Return Excuses

If you have to complete a self assessment tax return you’ll know that submitting it on time is important.  

HMRC have published some of the more silly excuses people have given as to why they didn’t complete their tax return by the SA deadline.

Here’s some of them below:

  1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)
  2. A taxi driver stated he had a bad back and couldn’t go upstairs which is where his tax return is
  3. A farmer from the Midlands said he had a run-in with a cow 
  4. A self employed trader explained his wife wouldn’t give him his mail
  5. A lady from London couldn’t concentrate on anything else after seeing a volcanic eruption on the news

It’s good to see the funny side to these stories, but all these people were fined for submitting their tax returns after the filing deadline.

HMRC will accept a reasonable excuse as to why you couldn’t submit your tax return on time, but it needs to fit a certain criteria.

HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.

If you haven’t yet sent your 2012 to 2013 tax return to HMRC, you need to do it online and pay the tax you owe by the end of January. With all the help and advice available, there’s no excuse not to.”

With penalties starting at £100 and increasing quickly the later you leave it, you need to make submitting on time a priority.  You can do it on paper, although usually the quickest and easiest process is online.

The deadline for a paper tax return is the 31st October and online is the 31st January. 

Tony Shanks

Tax On Savings Explained

How to get Tax Free Interest on Your Savings and how to Claim it Back

Too many low income earners are unnecessarily paying tax on their savings. If you feel that you are paying too much, you can register to receive interest on your savings free of tax. You can also apply to HMRC to claim back any overpaid tax on your savings, and for other reasons too.

Who is entitled to a savings tax free refund?

The standard rate of tax paid against the interest you receive on your savings is 20% – banks and building societies typically deduct this for you. However, if your total income is below the tax-free personal allowance, then you may apply for a refund and register to not pay tax on the interest.

Your total taxable income includes your working wages but excludes any benefits you might be receiving (though some other income sources are also excluded); the Personal Allowance is the threshold up to which you will pay no tax on your income.

If your income tax bill is Low

Many people earn only a small amount over the tax-free allowance. If this is the case then you may only have to pay a 10% tax rate on the interest on your savings. This is the “starting rate for savings”. If you fall into this category, then you will most likely be eligible to claim some tax back against what you have paid on your savings interest. You will be able to reclaim the difference between what you have paid and what you should have paid.

What you need to do

You will need the R85 form in order to register for tax-free savings and send it to your bank or building society (though some will let you register your application over the phone). You will need a separate R85 for each bank or building society assuming that you have multiple accounts. You will also need to fill in a new form if you open a new account.

It is fairly common for young people under the age of 16 to have savings accounts. In these cases, a parent or guardian will have to register the application. The account holder will need to fill out and sign a new R85 assuming that the tax-free status still applies.

How To Claim Back Savings Tax

There is a separate form (the R40) for those who think they have paid too much tax on the interest on their savings. You will need to file a separate claim for every year that you intend to claim for. So long as you claim before each subsequent deadline, there is a high chance you will be entitled to get back everything you have overpaid.

If you miss any of the below deadlines, you will not be able to make a claim

Tax year               Tax year ended                                 claim by:

2010-11                    5 April 2011                         5 April 2015

2011-12                    5 April 2012                         5 April 2016

2012-13                    5 April 2013                         5 April 2017

2013-14                    5 April 2014                         5 April 2018

What happens if your circumstances change

It is expected that an individual’s personal circumstances will change over the course of a year and between financial years. If your income goes up, you may no longer be entitled to certain benefits. If this is the case, then it is important that you inform your bank or building society as early as possible so that they can resume deducting tax from your interest. Failure to do so might mean a tax bill at the end of the financial year.

What else can I claim for?

If your reclaiming tax on your savings it’s an ideal time to check to see if your due a tax rebate for any other reason. Lot’s of employed people are entitled to claim a tax rebate for reasons like having expenses because of their job.

Find out more today with Tax Rebate Services.

Tony Shanks

Tax Relief Rules for Salaried Doctors

Tax Relief Rules for Salaried Doctors

There are tax rules governing what salaried doctors can claim in expenses – they are strict and have far tighter restrictions than rules that apply to self-employed consultants and GP’s. The expense must be incurred ‘wholly, necessarily and exclusively’ of and for the professional duties of the doctor in question. 

HMRC does permit claims against these costs but it must be remembered that when the hospital pays these costs, or reimburses the doctor, no tax relief will be permitted against them.

The time frame to reclaim tax relief is four tax years, and can be processed either in writing, or on a self assessment tax return.

What tax relief can I claim for?

Professional fees 

Professional fees into many professional bodies can be claimed for eg Genermal Medical Council and Royal College of General Practitioners. In the same way professional indemnity insurance into the Medical Defence Union is tax deductible.


Hospital doctors are classed as employees and must therefore use the fixed profit car scheme when claiming motor expenses. This system reimburses 45p per business mile up to 10,000 miles with 25p for each additional mile over that. Receipts are not required but it is important to justify the claimed number of business miles. As with any other role, commuting is not classed as “business travel”.

Tools and equipment

A doctor may purchase medical equipment and claim for reimbursement so long as the equipment is ‘wholly, necessarily and exclusively’ for their working role. Any purchase made by the doctor may be considered for this.


There may be some cases where the doctor wishes to gain an additional qualification, permitting him or her to operate as a specialist in another area. Such training courses and qualifications are not tax deductible as they are considered “capital” in nature. If the course is determined vital to the role and that the fees are incurred ‘wholly, necessarily and exclusively’ in the doctor’s employment, then the fees are likely to be tax deductible.

How do I make a claim?

Tax Rebate Services offers a tailored service to help Doctors and other Health professionals reclaim what they are entitled to. We have the knowledge and professional expertise to ensure you are reimbursed with the maximum possible tax rebate in the shortest time.

Start your claim today by applying online or calling one of our experts on 01228 520477 or 0845 094 0005.

Tony Shanks

Landlords HMRC Let Property Campaign

Landlords HMRC Let Property Campaign

HMRC has started a second campaign aimed at landlords, and undeclared rental income. The idea is to bring the tax affairs of landlords who are not declaring their income up to date. The campaign is targeted at both landlords and non resident landlords living outside the UK.

HMRC are offering under the campaign the best possible terms for income that has not been disclosed when it should have. Sizeable penalties can be imposed if you don’t submit any rental income on time. If you have misunderstood the rules and have a reasonable excuse HMRC will try and help.

Some landlords are under the impression that if they don’t make a profit they won’t have to fill in a tax return with their rental income. This is not the case and can lead to serious consequences.


It’s common that once all allowable expenses are brought into the equation that a loss is made in any one tax year. Any losses can be carried forward into futures years, which helps reduce any tax owed in the future, meaning that by not declaring rental revenue the potential benefits will be lost.

More details on the Let Property Campaign can be found here

Tax Rebate Services offers a specialist service for landlords both in and outside the UK. We can help you complete your tax return and bring your tax affairs up to date ensuring that you meet any future HMRC deadlines.

Tony Shanks


BAOT Members Tax Relief

BAOT Members – Getting Tax Relief

If you are a BAOT member (British Association of Occupational Therapists) you will be entitled to apply for up to 75% tax relief on your annual BAOT subscription against the highest marginal rate of tax.

The BAOT have agreed with HMRC that 75% of the the annual subscription will be eligible for tax relief. A claim for tax relief on your BAOT membership fees can be backdated for the last four tax years.

How do I make a claim?

If you complete a self assessment tax return you will need to enter your subscription total in the relevant box to be given the tax relief. You must make sure you only claim back 75% of your total fee unless the tax relief given will be incorrect. If you have already completed a tax return, and not included your membership fee a claim can still be made by way of an amendment to the tax return.

If you don’t complete a tax return a claim can be made in writing. 

What else can I claim for?

Other expenses incurred because of your job can be claimed for at the same time. These include:

Other professional and union fees

Travel – using your own car to travel to different places of work because of your job

Uniform allowance –  for washing of work related clothing

Use of home – if you contractually have to use your own home for work purposes

Equipment – bought for work use 

How do I make a claim?

Being a member of the BAOT will usually mean your a very busy person. Dealing with your tax affairs can become a time consuming and frustrating process. Tax Rebate Services specialises in helping BAOT members claim what they can against their income tax. We make it easy for you and work on a no rebate no fee basis meaning there is no risk in making a claim. 

To get started you can claim online or by calling us on 0845 094 0005 or 01228 520477.

A bit about the BAOT…

The benefits include up to 5 million insurance cover against any one claim for: Professional indemnity, professional liability and product liability.

Professional indemnity is a form of insurance that covers against claims of poor advice, omission or negligence in the course of a professional service. The insurance covers any claim made in the UK or the EU

BAOT membership automatically grants you liability insurance against a wide range of risks that might arise from the day to day professional service of Occupational Therapy. This covers BAOT members except for private practice work where the individual earns more than £1,500 in a given tax year. 

Tony Shanks


Tax Rebate Services using Keytime

Tax Rebate Services Using Keytime

We’re changing accounting software providers, meaning all of our tax returns submitted through commercial software will now be done with Keytime.

Here’s a little bit about who they are and what they do…

Keytime are independent software developers who started writing software for accountants in 1989. Products include: tax, corporation tax, final accounts, payroll and practice management software. As far as we can tell, we are the only supplier to accountants who publish live satisfaction ratings, and we are honoured to have the trust of over 1650 practices. All of our software development is done from our offices in Oldham, near Manchester, where we’ve been based since 1989.

We hope this will be a long and happy relationship.

Tony Shanks

How To Correct A Self Assessment Tax Return

How to Correct a Tax Return and Claim a Refund

It is likely that you will make a genuine error when filling in your Tax Return – forgotten to add an income or an expense and therefore paid too much or too little tax.

Tax Rebate Services has helped countless Self Assessment tax payers amend their returns, claiming back expenses they didn’t enter when originally filling it in themselves.

It can be a simple process to amend your tax return, though you will have a time limit in which you can make these amendments, and importantly you need to know what you are amending is correct. If HMRC authorises the amendment, they will pay you back the extra or inform you how much more you will need to pay.

Claiming a tax refund

If you have made a mistake and appear to have overpaid, you will need to correct the tax return within the given time limit. The tax refund can be claimed at the same time.

If you are not required to fill out the Self Assessment form and wish to claim back tax, there are different forms depending on what you intend to claim tax back against.

Correcting your return

The deadline for making an amendment to your tax return is very generous – you have 12 months from the January 31st after the end of the previous tax year to make your corrections. This means that for the tax year 2012-2013, the deadline for payment is 31st January 2014, and the deadline for amendments is 31st January 2015.

You may be entitled to an extension on this date if you received your return later than expected (after 31st July). If this happens then the accompanying letter will give you the deadline for the return; consequently you will have 12 months from this date to file your amendment. So if your tax return for 2012-3 arrived on 1st December 2013, you will have until 1st March 2014 to return it. Consequently, you will have until 1st March 2015 to make any amendments.

If HMRC calculates that you owe more and consequently have to pay a penalty, they will tell you how much you’ll need to pay and how to go about paying it. Those who are due a refund will be given the option on how they will have it refunded.

How to amend an online tax return:

Many choose to fill out their tax returns online and if you complete yours by the 31st January, an online amendment is straightforward. Just follow the option to amend your tax return from the “At a Glance” page.

How to amend a paper tax return:

You will not need to send a whole new tax return. Instead, write to HMRC with the individual amended page(s). Ensure that the word “AMENDMENT” appears at the top of each page.

What if it’s too late to amend your return?

Sometimes mistakes do not become apparent until much later. It is advisable to write to HMRC as soon as possible – you will have four years from the end of the tax year to bring it to their attention.

For example, if you discover that you paid too much tax in the year 2009-10 (which ended on 5th April 2010) then you will have until 5th April 2014 to claim a refund. After this date, you will miss out and nothing can be done. A repayment claim for this four year period should include:

  • Details of which tax year you are claiming for
  • An explanation for why you feel you overpaid in that year
  • Evidence of the tax that you did pay in that year
  • Your signature
  • Details on how you would prefer to receive any due refund

If the mistake means that you owe tax to HMRC, they will include details on how much you need to pay and how you can pay.

How will any refund be made?

There are a couple of options you might consider. Many prefer to have it deducted from tax due on the current Self-Assessment form. Alternatively HMRC offers the following options:

  • Direct debit into your bank account
  • Through the post – this will take a little longer than a direct debit
  • To a nominee – you will need to include details of their account

HMRC aims to settle any claims quickly and most will be satisfactorily completed within fourteen days. Some cases will take slightly longer for fraud protection purposes. Online requests take up to four weeks and postal requests anything up to six weeks. 

Interest is payable on both late payments and late refunds. 

Tony Shanks

Are you due a tax rebate? Find out today – Click Here

2014/2015 P2 Notice of Coding

Why you might not get a 2014/2015 P2 Notice of Coding this year

Every year most UK tax payers are issued with a new tax code which is explained on a form called a P2 notice of coding.

Making sure your tax code is right is important to ensure your personal circumstances are reflected in your personal allowance, which is used to make up your tax code.

HMRC have this year decided to not issue P2 notice of codings to some people. There are three main categories:

The people who will not receive a P2 notice of coding are:

  • have the same tax code in the 2014/2015 as the 2013/2014 tax year
  • not in employment 
  • have no liability to tax

The reason given by HMRC is because there is no effect on their tax position. If a your circumstances change this may not be the case, so you should let HMRC know as soon as possible to avoid paying too much or too little income tax.

If you have received a P2 notice of coding it’s recommended you check the explanation given on how your tax code has made made up. Sometimes errors can be made, or your personal circumstances are different from past years, meaning your tax code needs to be adjusted taking the changes into consideration.

Tony Shanks

4.7 Billion Wasted In Tax

4.7 Billion Wasted in Tax 

The annual TaxAction report by have found that up to £4.7 billion is wasted because of tax inefficiencies. This basically means UK tax payers aren’t claiming back the tax that they are owed, and using the many tax reliefs that are legitimately available to them.

In summary the report goes on to say that the average amount each tax payer is going to waste is £161, and that 77% people in the last 12 months haven’t actively done anything to stop the waste of tax.

The core areas highlighted where the most wastage is seen include:

•  individual savings accounts 

•  tax relief on pension contributions

•  capital gains tax 

•  inheritance tax 

Another important statistic is that 38% of the tax paying public don’t feel confident in dealing their tax affairs without the help of a professional.

This is not surprising given the sometimes complex nature of the UK tax system, and the lack of knowledge by many tax payers on what tax reliefs they are entitled to claim.

PAYE Income Tax Overpayments

At Tax Rebate Services we would like to highlight the wastage of income tax by the employed. It can be an over looked area, with many assuming that they are paying the correct amount of tax. It’s not just the self employed that can reduce how much tax they pay, and you usually won’t get any tax you have overpaid back unless you claim it.

We are here to help you decide what tax reliefs you can claim back because of your employment, making sure you only pay the tax you need to.

Tony Shanks


Biggest Tax Cuts In Two Decades

Biggest Tax Cuts In Two Decades

With the new personal allowance for the 2014/2015 tax year increasing to £10,000 the Chancellor George Osborne hails what he says is “the biggest reduction of business and personal tax in two decades” and ”This week your business can keep more of the money it makes, so you can invest, expand and create new jobs.”

The new personal allowance will mean you don’t pay any income tax up to the first£10,000 of your earnings.

Mr Osborne added that the government is “backing businesses by cutting their taxes so they can create jobs, cutting the tax on hard-working people so their job pays, and holding back welfare rises and imposing more conditions on those claiming the dole, so that getting a job pays more”.

The new personal allowance for the 2014/2015 tax year is s big bonus for many lower earners. It means you don’t have to pay any tax on the first £10,000 earned. The new standard tax code for the 2014/2015 tax year is 1000L and will come in to use from the 6th April 2014.

Find out more on how the tax cuts could affect you 

Tony Shanks