The 5 Most Common Tax Return Mistakes

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Filling a tax return is the job most people leave until the last minute, and consequently do as quickly as possible! That in turn, means people make simple often difficult to spot mistakes. To make sure you’re aware of the frequent errors made on tax returns each year, this blog will highlight the five most common and has printable table ready to use as a short checklist!

Mistake 1 – not declaring EVERYTHING

HMRC need the full picture of your in and outgoings to be able to asses the correct amount of tax you should be paying. If you’ve received any redundancy pay, PAYE earnings or been paying off your student loan, make sure you tell them! Missing out information could mean you receive a tax bill your not actually due!

Mistake 2 – one wrong number!

Incorrect bank details and reference numbers are also often mistaken, with one incorrect number meaning you have to contact HMRC to amend your return – if you think you have made a error get in touch with HMRC within 12 months to avoid costly fines.

Mistake 3 – That doesn’t make sense…

Confusion often leads to mistakes, for example all interest from bank and building society accounts should be included – leaving this out could be deemed a ‘deliberate misstatement’ and result in penalties from HMRC.

Mistake 4 – Finally finished, send, done. Wrong!

Finally, the main cause of easy to fix errors is not double-checking your return before submitting it. To ensure you pick up incorrect numbers and information leave the return to sit for a day and then re-read it with fresh eyes.

Mistake 5 – Thinking you can go it alone

One of the biggest mistakes is not employing an accountant. Employing a accountant or by utilising a free accountancy service through a payroll provider a majority of the stress and errors involved with submitting a tax return is dramatically reduced!

The simple solution

To completely avoid making mistakes and fines from HMRC, there are affordable accounting options available. The evolution of the accounting industry moving toward flexible cloud-based solutions allows everything from invoices and payslips to live bank balances to be available online to both the customer and accountant.

To save yourself the stress of tax returns and boxes of receipts visit Ship Shape Accounting at or call 207 706 5250 for advice on your accounts.

Common mistake: Checked?

  • The deadline date:
  • Bank account information
  • Tax code
  • Net amount after tax not gross amount of interest
  • Unique Reference Number
  • Included interest arising from bank accounts
  • Double checked entire document (including calculations)