50 Steps to prepare your personal tax return for HMRC

Preparing your personal tax return is one of the most important interactions that you will have with HMRC. Mistakes can have costly consequences and cause concern. At Jack Ross, we understand that you want certainty that your personal tax compliance obligations are met on a timely and accurate basis. That’s why we have a thorough process to ensure that it runs smoothly from start to finish.

Here’s our 50 step checklist that we use to complete your tax returns, which will give you an insight into our rigorous process.

Preparing your personal tax return in 27 easy steps..

50 Step Checklist

  1. Ensure that a valid agent authorisation is held at HMRC.
  2. Establish that a tax return or form R40 is required (via receipt of notice to file a return or by checking the online HMRC portal).
  3. Request information from client to enable us to prepare the tax return.
  4. Upon receipt of the information, review it, file it and contact the client if there are any queries.
  5. Obtain any internal (Jack Ross) information required to prepare the return (e.g. self – employment accounts, dividend vouchers, P11D’s).
  6. Review correspondence file for details of any changes to addresses, tax reference, tax office etc.
  7. Review file notes and prior year tax return for any information relating to the current year tax return.
  8. Download information required from HMRC portal, for example statements, PAYE coding notices. Take any appropriate action (for example checking payments are correct and noting/querying if not).
  9. Entering the information into the return can then begin.
  10. Enter any interest received, note any account changes etc.
  11. Enter any interest paid on qualifying loans.
  12. Enter any dividends received, using either dividend vouchers or the dividend feed. Where dividend feed is used, ensure that we have confirmed that the shareholding is correct. Note any changes to shareholdings.
  13. Make a note to check with the client, any reasons for any disposals if these haven’t already been provided by client so that appropriate capital gains tax pages can be completed if necessary.
  14. Enter any employment income (including benefits in kind from P11D).
  15. Enter details of any underpayments of tax from coding notice.
  16. Enter any private or state pension.
  17. Enter any taxable benefits.
  18. Enter any rental property income and expenses.
  19. Check whether any of the rental properties are commercial property, if so there is no restriction on finance costs. For residential properties ensure that the finance costs are entered correctly to give the restriction.
  20. Enter any income and expenses for furnished holiday lets.
  21. Enter any details of self – employment income from accounts, including calculating available capital allowances. Ensure the SEISS grant payments have been included where applicable.
  22. Enter any gift aid payments.
  23. Enter any personal pension contributions.
  24. Consider all pension contributions (including employer contributions) to determine whether there could be pension savings charges.
  25. If relevant, calculate whether the client has a tapered annual pension allowance.
  26. If relevant, request information relating to the prior 3 years employer and employee pension contributions to consider and calculate any unused allowances which can be utilised, then complete the pension savings tax charges entries on the return.
  27. Enter any capital gains, including considering various reliefs if appropriate, e.g. Business Asset Disposal relief, EIS Deferral Relief, Holdover relief. Also consider whether there are any negligible value claims to be made.
  28. Enter any life insurance gains and consider top – slicing relief.
  29. Enter details of child benefit receipts if relevant.
  30. Enter any details relating to the student loan if relevant.
  31. Enter details of any EIS, SEIS or VCT subscriptions for which certificates have been provided. Consider carry back of relief where applicable. Consider using deferral relief against other capital gains where applicable.
  32. Consider whether there are any events which could bring back into charge earlier reliefs or deferrals (for example relating to EIS withdrawal of relief or a deferred gain being brought back into charge).
  33. Consider the use of any losses.
  34. Consider use of capital allowances if relevant (for example possible reduction of capital allowance claim).
  35. Consider tax allowance and whether spouse transfer is appropriate.
  36. Consider whether any national insurance adjustments are required.
  37. Enter details of any other income.
  38. Consider foreign tax issues, for example foreign tax credits.
  39. Check directorships and enter on return if relevant.
  40. Consider residency issues if applicable.
  41. Calculate tax liability.
  42. Enter (or request from client) repayment details if a tax repayment is due.
  43. Consider whether the client wants the tax (if under £3,000) to be collected via the tax code and enter on return if applicable.
  44. Consider whether a claim to reduce payments on account for the following year may be appropriate.
  45. Complete letter to the client including detailing any important or unusual aspects of the return.
  46. Update client file and forward notes with any relevant details.
  47. Review the tax return, computations, schedules and letter, including completion of internal checklists.
  48. Email the documents to the client for approval.
  49. Check that the client has approved the return and answer any queries.
  50. Submit return to HMRC.

At Jack Ross we understand that preparing your personal tax return can be overwhelming. Therefore, we are always looking for ways to simplify the process. Subsequently, this improves efficiency, saves time and, above all, saves money.

In conclusion, we can break the process down so the task is more manageable. Above all, this will make the task at hand seem easier to manage and complete in a timely manner.

For further help we recommend heading to https://www.gov.uk/topic/personal-tax/self-assessment where you can find the relevant form and help sheets for each form.

In addition, if you have any questions regarding the checklist, please use the enquiry form below. A member of the team will be in touch to help.