As the self-assessment tax return deadline approaches, it’s normal to feel a twinge of apprehension. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or tackling this task for the first time, preparation is key. At Bedford Accountants, we understand that tax season can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here with some expert tips to help you prepare for your self-assessment deadline, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.

1. Understand the Deadline:

First things first, mark the deadline in your calendar. For the 2022/2023 tax year, the deadline for online self-assessment tax returns is 31 January 2024. Missing this deadline can result in penalties, so it’s crucial to start early and give yourself plenty of time.

  1. Gather Your Documents:

Organisation is your ally in the battle against tax return stress. Gather all necessary documentation, including P60 or P45 forms, interest statements from banks, receipts for business expenses, and any other relevant financial information. Having everything in one place will streamline the process significantly.


  1. Don’t Overlook Deductibles:

 One of the most common mistakes in tax filing is failing to claim all eligible deductions. This can range from home office costs to business expenses. Review the HMRC guidelines on allowable expenses or consult with a professional accountant to ensure you’re not paying more tax than necessary.


  1. Consider Using Accounting Software:

Technology can be a lifesaver when it comes to managing your finances. Accounting software like FreeAgent, Xero, or QuickBooks can help keep track of your income and expenses, making the self-assessment process more manageable. Many of these platforms also offer direct submission to HMRC, simplifying the process further.

  1. Check and Double-Check:

 Accuracy is vital when completing your tax return. Inaccuracies can lead to penalties or delays. Once you’ve filled in your return, take the time to double-check all the information. Ensure that all figures are correct and that you haven’t missed any sections.


  1. Plan for Your Payment:

 If you owe tax, ensure you have a plan for how you’ll make the payment. HMRC accepts various payment methods, but keep in mind that some can take a few days to process. Don’t leave it until the last minute, as delayed payments can incur interest and penalties.


  1. Seek Professional Help if Needed:

 Sometimes, the best approach is to seek professional assistance. An accountant can provide invaluable help, especially if you have complex tax affairs or simply want the assurance that your tax return is handled correctly.



 Preparing for your self-assessment tax return needn’t be a source of stress. With early preparation, careful organisation, and perhaps some professional assistance, you can navigate this yearly task with confidence and ease. Remember, the team at Bedford Accountants is always here to help guide you through the self-assessment process and beyond. Let’s tackle this tax season together!