Landlords looking to file DIY tax returns can source lots of essential free information online.
This is the time when many landlords start gathering the information they need to complete a return following a prompt through the post from HMRC.
Forget forums and non-expert web sites because although the people responding to questions may be well-meaning, you cannot guarantee their information is up-to-date.
A giveaway for information is articles published without a date showing when the data was last checked for accuracy.
Instead, look to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online, but beware, the information is their interpretation of tax law and not necessarily the same as a judge might rule in a disputed case before a court.
Here are the hidden places on the HMRC web site you can find the information you need:
- Online property tax course for landlords – A grand name for a short presentation showcasing some very basic information. Best for new landlords looking for a grounding in some of the principles.
- Property tax toolkit – A detailed document aimed at accountants that identifies and explains how to avoid the most common mistakes HMRC encounters on property tax returns.
- Property Income Manual – HMRC’s guide to property tax for tax inspectors
If you plan to file a tax return for April 6, 2015 until April 5, 2106 but failed to do so last year, online registration should be completed by October 5.
Just because you don’t receive a reminder does not mean you should not file a return.
Registration can take up to 20 days, so leave plenty of time before the date you plan to file.
Landlords who are not sure how to put together a self-assessment tax return should speak to a suitably qualified tax professional.