My Very First Experience With Self Assessment: Let's Talk Tax*




*This post was written in collaboration with Contact Numbers UK*


When I started blogging I really had no idea that I'd be earning money from it almost two years in. For one because I didn't launch GGD for that reason, it was meant to be by all accounts just a writing platform from which to market my novel. And two, the notion of earning and having to declare tax panicked me somewhat. 

I love that in my full time job everything is done for me. My tax, NSI contributions, pension etc etc, it's all sorted by the powers that be so that I need not worry. Blogging however, or rather earning from it, changed all that. Once I started receiving an income, even though it was a side income, I knew that I'd need to complete a self assessment at the end of the financial year. The very thought filled me with dread, it all seemed complicated and way beyond my comprehension. Thankfully I was given lots of reassurance and support from friends and fellow bloggers and the HMRC were on hand to give plenty of helpful advice too.


I have to admit that at thirty five, registering with the HMRC as self employed and then doing my self assessment felt like the most grown up thing I've possibly ever done. Not sure what that says about me but there was certainly a degree of elation and excitement when I'd finally completed and submitted my tax return. After all the fretting, it turned out not to be so bad, hence why I decided to join in with the #LetsTalkTax campaign. Education is key is it not? And once you get your head around it, tax isn't that scary at all.

There is, as I've mentioned, lots of support on hand in the form of the HMRC. I honestly must have gone down every single avenue at various different stages, sourcing answers to my many, many questions. As well as the Contact Numbers UK, I highly commend the online chat facility and the HMRC Twitter page for a speedy response. 

How Can Contact Numbers UK Help Me?

Contact Numbers UK are particularly great because they remove the usual hassle that comes with looking for the correct telephone number. When you're needing to get in touch with an organisation such as HMRC and without fuss, visit the CNUK website, type in HMRC and let the website do the rest. It's that easy. 

Did You Know?  

Did you also know that you can contact the HMRC to see if you're entitled to a tax refund? Why don't you drop them a line to see if you're eligible or how you can make a claim? There are many handy online tools available to help you with this such as the tax calculator.





3 Pieces Of Advice

After completing my very first self assessment, I can now say that I'm feeling much more confident about the next. If you're planning on doing your own tax return in the future, here are some pointers to bear in mind; 

1. Keep anything you think you'll need, receipts, invoices etc etc. Get all your paperwork together before you begin including items such as your wage slips and P60. If you don't have the necessary documents to hand then you won't be able to answer all of the questions and this will slow down the process. 

2. Don't be afraid to ask questions and for help if you're stuck, and not just from HMRC, ask fellow bloggers too. Chances are, many of them will have gone through the tax process before and will be more than happy to help. 

3. Lastly, my most important piece of advice, do not leave your tax return to the last minute. It's really not just a case of registering and throwing a few numbers at your computer. You will need to register first and then you'll be sent an activation code in the post. While you're waiting for this you can't do a whole lot and late submissions can very well mean penalty fines. And nobody wants that do they? 

The tax man isn't so intimidating once you know what you're doing. The key is just to be organised, honest, to take your time and to ask for help as and when needed. 



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