Is your occupation on HMRC’s Self Assessment “watchlist”?

If you’re a dentist, doctor, landlord or private tutor submitting your Self Assessment online this month, you may be under more scrutiny than other professions.

In recent years, the Government has developed a super-computer that collates data from key sources. The data helps pinpoint discrepancies in an individual’s Self Assessment tax return and, as a result,  identifies the occupational groups most likely to file late or inaccurate returns.

Doctors and dentists are high on the “watchlist”.  Already HMRC has collected at least £10m in unpaid tax from these professionals by, for instance, using data collected from drug companies, locum agencies and other organisations to spot errors in individual returns.

Landlords also receive this kind of special treatment. HMRC is actively examining people who rent out properties abroad or who own three or more properties in the UK. Landlords we’re told often “accidentally” include traditional mortgage capital repayment as an expense.

Elsewhere, tutors teaching subjects as disparate as horse-riding and music are also coming under HMRC’s close scrutiny.

Give yourself more time to get your Self Assessment right this time

If you’re in one of the professional groups prone to filing your return late and inaccurately there’s one new first step you can take to make a better start in 2017.

The future is now with GOV.UK Verify

The new, simple and straightforward way to access Self Assessment online is to use SecureIdentity and GOV.UK Verify. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to create an account and you can begin filling in your Self Assessment tax return immediately. You’ll need to download the SecureIdentity Simple Sign-in App from the Apple store or Google Play. Have your  identity documents to hand (ie: your passport, driving licence and bank statements) and choose SecureIdentity when you’re asked to select a certified company to verify your identity at GOV.UK Verify.

How to save money with company car tax bands

An environmentally friendly company car fleet will reduce the negative impact on the planet and reduce your tax bill as new company car tax bands are introduced.

From the tax year 2020/21 there will be 15 new bandings for taxing a car, with 11 bands for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).

The Government has designed the new bandings to encourage the take-up of the cleanest electric and hybrid cars.

HMRC is proposing a new company car tax band with 50m/km as the new threshold for ULEVs. The ULEV CO2 emissions value consists of the capacity for zero emission miles and the level of CO2 produced when the car runs on a conventional combustion engine.

For the best tax breaks: if given the choice, opt for a ULEV. These vehicles will be given favourable, lower tax rates soon, although the exact rate has yet to be finalised.

Use SecureIdentity to check the company car tax band you are paying now.