January 29, 2005
Tax Returned

I spent nearly all day doing my tax return for the year ended 2004. Most of the time taken was trawling through my files trying to find out how many pence I earned in interest from my bank accounts - and how many pence I earned in share dividends. Both of these things added up to not very much at all. But it still took me nearly all day.

This year I decided to not only “file” my return online - but I “filled” it online too. For the last few years I have used TaxCalc self-assessment software. This year I used the Inland Revenue’s very own web-based system.

Self-asessment tax return.

I like leaving it to the last minute. And it feels good knowing that the government owes me money …

Posted by jag at January 29, 2005 11:47 PM
Oh - you have my sympathies! That's how I spent last Saturday. It took me seemingly 11 months to get the paperwork together, 7 hours to add up the interest, (and I'm hardly Rothschild) and about 20 minutes to actually complete it! Still, some of us work much better under pressure :-) Posted by: Cal on January 30, 2005 11:34 AM
I still havent got the hang of filing taxes here. (I am earning, you see ;) ) It will still take me a couple of years. And until that, I have to depend on that. And the government owes me some money too. Atleast you dont have to spend on software to calculate your taxes now. Posted by: sat on January 30, 2005 07:12 PM
my dad's having huge headaches with loads of his clients for not having done their tax return until the last minute! something i'll soon have to enjoy doing ... i thought life was meant to get better as you got older? Posted by: Jaina on January 30, 2005 07:33 PM
Now that reminds me of a task that needs doing. Thankfully the tax declaration doesn't have to be in until May and the deadline can be extended until September without much fuss. But what with changing jobs, investing in our online shoe shop and a few other factors, I have no idea how we stand and I'll need professional assistance to find out. Thinking about this gives me the willies but it does remind why I resisted all that unimaginative careers advice at school along the lines of "how you thought about accountancy?" Posted by: David on January 31, 2005 08:09 AM
Hi Cal - thanks for your comment. I'm so glad I'm not the only one for whom it takes so long! Sat: yes - the lack of expenditure on TaxCalc software is indeed a saving. I hope your tax returns are not as complex as ours! Jaina: life is supposed to get better - but I'm not sure exactly how ... ;-) David: Accountants were the butt of jokes at college - and still are today at work! Your tax affairs are likely to be "complex" as they say - so you probably won't be able to avoid the pro. But I find it amazing that you can extend the deadlines like that - the Inland Revenue here takes a VERY hard line with late filings. Automatic 100 fine - and then daily interest and surcharges on the tax owed until you pay! Great incentive to get it filled in on time - and no excuse for the website being down either. (this has been a controversial topic in the news today: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4215007.stm ) Posted by: Jag on February 1, 2005 10:25 PM
So, you guys in the UK file your taxes so early? In the US the deadline is on the 31st of April. Not that the extra 3 months is helpful in getting the bills together, but atleast you wont have to worry about it right after new year. Posted by: Anand Viswanathan on February 2, 2005 04:59 AM
Anand: it's early as the calendar year goes - but in actual fact - whenever we talk about taxes here in UK - and we refer to the "the year ended 2004" - it means the year ended April 2004. To be more precise - the year ending 5th April 2004. So - the Jaunary 1st 2005 deadline is for filing the tax return for the year between 6th April 2003 and the 5th April 2004. So - we have 9 months from the ending of the financial year in order to prepare and submit our tax return! Now can you understand what I meant when I said "leaving it to the last minute" ? Posted by: Jag on February 2, 2005 08:47 AM
which basically means you do have more time than I do. Posted by: David on February 2, 2005 11:06 AM
I did wonder whether the time spent putting my tax return together was tax deductable Posted by: Steve on February 2, 2005 01:19 PM
Hehe, know what ya mean... this year my tax return went in 6 hours before midnight rather than the usual 6 minutes. Oh well, back to normal next year I hope :) Posted by: Lever on February 2, 2005 10:35 PM
David: yes - I guess you're right. How lucky we are! Steve: very good quuestion. Lever: Once last-minute; always last-minute! It's like an addictive drug. You feel much better doing it at the last minute! Posted by: Jag on February 2, 2005 11:55 PM
Oh, I see. Now it's all clear. I must've been sobre when I read your post earlier ;-) Posted by: Anand Viswanathan on February 3, 2005 05:00 AM
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