Tax return tips for parents

tax return
 
As a working parent, juggling employment and children alongside a small self employed income from my blog, a tax return is something that can seem daunting. These great tips from Jon at The Money Shed has some great tips to make it all that little bit easier for you. 
 
As parents we have enough dates to remember I feel. From kids Birthdays, parties we need to go to, important school functions and a million other things that we have to remember each week it’s no surprise that anyone who is self employed tends to have some kind of ‘panic’ around what needs to be done and when.
 
Some people like to do their tax return as soon as they can while others tend to shove it to the back of their mind and leave it to the absolute last moment possible. 
 
I’m actually self employed alongside working a full-time PAYE job so I have to wait for my P60 to turn up which is normally around May / June time each year before I can file my self assessment. 
 
No matter when you decide to do it there are a number of things you can do throughout the year to make it easy on you when it comes to starting your assessment.
 
As someone who runs The Money Shed (which is the UK’s largest community site dedicated to earning online from home!) I thought I would share with you 3 top tips when it comes to doing your tax return.
 
KEEP RECORDS AS YOU GO
 
Keeping track of every bit of money that you earn as you go is just common sense when you are self employed. I have a simple spreadsheet I use that literally lets me fill in who has paid me, how much and when. I store it in THE CLOUD so that I’m able to access it no matter where I am so if I get a payment while out and about I can add it straight away to the spreadsheet using my phone.
 
I also use one bank account for everything. This helps because at the end of the year I can just produce a giant statement and set it to show transactions where money entered my account and this just helps me with making sure my numbers all tally up.
 
GET A GRASP ON THE DATES
 
As a family we always buy a giant calendar each year with the dates on and I always put any Self Assessment deadlines on there straight away so I know what I am working to.
 
It’s also important to remember that you are entering information for the PREVIOUS year. I’ve seen a lot of people posting online wondering about when they have to declare the earnings for the current year so it’s important to remember that it’s always for the year prior.
 
TAX CREDITS AND BEING SELF EMPLOYED
 
This question crops up over and over again online with many people having asked it over on The Money Shed and the true answer is that it depends on your circumstances. The only people who can give you an exact answer are the people who give the benefits out or the CAB (Citizen Advice Bureau). If you are wanting a rough estimate though you can always use the EntitledTo calculator. 
 
The reason why it is so difficult to give an exact answer to this question is because it depends so much on personal circumstances. How many children do you have at home? What is the household income? Even what part of the country you live in can affect the answer!
 
I hope some of this has been useful, if you ever have any further questions please feel free to pop over to The Money Shed. With over 4000 members and 95,000 posts on our forum all from UK people our fantastic community will be happy to help answer any questions you might have!
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2 Comments

  1. June 7, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    I worked in the P.A.Y.E department of the Inland Revenue when I left school so I had a slight advantage when submitting my tax accounts for my registered child minder work, a colleague once told me that I was boring because I appeared to have everything sorted and submitted in time I replied saying that I was organised, my advice is if you have problems with your tax return ask the Revenue for help they are human after all!

  2. June 11, 2017 / 7:57 am

    One thing I forgot until a year or two ago was to keep track of charity payments as this can impact your tax liability as well. Honestly though I pay an accountant. Although it’s all quite simple for me, they are quite cheap and then I know they know what they’re doing.

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