*Why I Did My Tax Return Early This Year

Since I started freelancing, I’ve been far more on top of all my blog admin-even now I’ve gone back to a full time job. It’s important to me that I don’t ruin all the hard work I did throughout those eight months spent putting everything I had into this blog, and I’m making sure I still do that, whilst also having some much needed down time. Sadly though my tax return has always been low down on my list of priorities and I’ve been that person submitting it half an hour before the deadline every single year-until this year.

Laura stood at Leeds Dock with boats behind her

This year, the 2017/18 tax year, is the year things changed for me. I’ve been so on it with logging my income and expenditure, keeping the evidence of payments in and out in case I needed to prove my figures and updating my spreadsheet at least every Friday. I’ve logged the things I should expense (like my hosting, photoshop, the camera lens I bought that I only use for client shoots, mileage to and from events) and I’ve kept a note of who has paid me what, when, and why. It’s been a huge weight off my shoulders knowing I’m up to date and that I won’t have that last minute struggle to add everything up. This year I’ve actually earned less than the tax threshold, due to being freelance for eight of the twelve months and not earning enough consistently, so I knew I was owed some tax back-because I paid some at my old job that I didn’t need to. And so, my tax return was submitted as soon as the website opened to do it.

I’m feeling very pleased with myself that I can put it completely out of my mind until next April, and that as long as I keep logging my income and expenditure going forward, I will always be this organised. No more worrying about a £1000 fine from HMRC for me! I do know people who haven’t submitted a tax return for years-fine, you do you-but I am not willing to be the person to be landed with a huge bill suddenly, so mine are submitted 100% correctly. It’s not worth the consequences of doing it wrong, for me.

How do you pay your taxes? Do you have an up to date lot and submit early, or are you a wing it at the last minute kind of person?

*This is a collaborative post with Talk Tax, who offer hard to reach HMRC numbers-because no one likes making tons of phone calls or waiting on hold for ages. They also offer guidance on your self assessment. All thoughts, words and opinions are my own.

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