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Tips for completing your first self-assessment tax return as a blogger

So you’re due to complete your first tax return as a self-employed blogger. Firstly, congratulations on making the leap to full-time blogger and secondly don’t panic, filing your tax return isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

I have been self-employed for almost 4 years now and each year I’m finding it quicker and easier to complete my tax return. It was overwhelming at first but now I simply give myself a couple of hours to double check my figures and fill in the forms online then it’s done again for another year. As I now feel confident in filling in the tax return I am sharing a few tips you could use to ensure your first tax return is a smooth and quick process which will leave you feeling confident and ready to take on your second year of self-employment.

Keep good records

This is a must! If you don’t keep good records you could find yourself scrambling to work out your income and expenses and if you fill it in incorrectly you could find yourself with a hefty fine. The best way to keep track of your income and expenses is to create a spreadsheet and fill it in every time you receive any income or incur any business costs. Filling in the information as soon as possible is the best practice and will encourage good habits which means you’ll be less likely to miss any important information.

Take your time

If you keep good records you will find filing your tax return is a much simpler affair, in fact, it’s really not as complicated as it seems. I have now completed 4 tax returns and although initially, it was daunting I can now complete the return quickly and easily. When it’s time to tackle your first return make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete it and allow for any issues such as website errors which could delay you submitting your return.

Don’t miss the deadline

There are two different deadlines when it comes to filing your tax return but bear with me. If you’re filing a paper return the deadline is the 31st of October. If you’re filing your tax return online then your deadline is the 31st of January. Always check the tax return deadlines to ensure you know the deadlines and You must pay any tax you owe by the 31st of January. It’s important you don’t miss your tax return deadline or you could find yourself paying a fine.

Ask for help

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed take a break and ask for help. There are a lot of great resources online to help you understand and complete your tax return, Talk Tax is a great resource for advice and also important phone numbers you might need to help you. The Gov.uk website is another great website for

Hire an accountant

If you’re struggling to get your head around your tax return or you would prefer for it to be in a professional’s hands then you could consider hiring an accountant to do this for you. You would simply send the accountant your receipts/invoices and any other business accounts which they will then work through and then file your tax return. Although an accountant can be costly they do ensure your tax return is filled in correctly, on time and that you are claiming the correct expenses.

If you have any advice or tips for bloggers completing their first tax return I would love to hear them.

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