Customs and Excise self-assessment advice

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging first-time Self Assessment (SA) filers who haven’t sent in their returns to register for its online services now.

Around 254,000 people in Northern Ireland have to file a Self Assessment return.

It’s easy to register – just visit the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk/how-to-send-self-assessment-online/sign-up-for-an-online-account and follow the instructions.

Registration can take up to seven working days to complete, as it involves HMRC sending you an activation code in the post. It’s therefore important not to leave this to the last minute, to avoid being in a rush to beat the 31 January filing deadline.

SA online customers can now opt to receive HMRC communications electronically, rather than via traditional print and post channels. This is a new service that will make the SA process paperless.

The deadline for paying any tax owed for 2013/14 is also 31 January. Taxpayers who owe less than £3,000, and want HMRC to collect the tax they owe through next year’s tax code, need to submit their online return by midnight on 30 December.

Further help and advice on filing your return is available from the GOV.UK website or from the SA helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).