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Self assessment tax returns - aaarrrrggghhh!!!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by lucyrose50, May 22, 2019.

  1. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I don't know if I have an actual question here, or just need a rant and/or some sympathy from people who have probably been through similar things!

    I've been trying to do my UK self assessment tax return since October last year. I needed an activation code, which can only be sent by post (seriously, in this day and age!), but I haven't been able to get this because HMRC have sent every single one I've requested to an old UK address, despite the fact that this address is not listed anywhere on my online HMRC account, I've sent them a change of address form with my overseas address which has been correctly added to my online account, I've made 3 lengthy and expensive phone calls to them about it, and have made two formal complaints in writing (to which I have not received any response, 3 months later). HMRC are trying to charge me penalties for not submitting it, but I haven't been able to do this because of their mistakes!

    Having been assured on the phone last month that my UK address had been removed from my account and that another activation code would be sent to the correct address, after waiting for 3 weeks I got a friend of mine to go to my old UK address on the off chance it had been sent there and the new residents still had it. Surprise surprise, it had been sent there again - fortunately my friend was able to get it after the current residents kindly dug through their paper recycling bin, so I can at least log on to the site, but now I discover that if you're an overseas resident you can only submit an online self assessment if you buy some kind of special software to do it rather than just using the form on HMRC's website. There's a ridiculously long list of software suppliers for this, all of which apparently do slightly different things and may or may not be able to support particular forms and attachments, and all cost different amounts of money which you can't find out until you click through several pages for each one. To save my sanity, can anyone tell me what software they've used to successfully submit their self-assessment so I can just get that one? I can't believe how difficult they make this, it's not surprising people don't do their tax forms!
  2. suem75

    suem75 Occasional commenter

    I know! Saw that last year but just went ahead & did my return online anyway. They accepted it, I think. Well, I got confirmation, and a rebate!

    It's good you posted & reminded me about this. I'll need to do 2018/19 soon, hope my trick works again. ;)
  3. sully007

    sully007 New commenter

    Can't help with your actual query but can advise that you sign up to Skype. This will drastically reduce the cost of calling companies when overseas. In fact, some are free to call!

    Good luck with it.
    576 likes this.
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you become "non-resident for the purposes of taxation", then you will not have to fill in any forms for HMRC. Hooray!
  5. suem75

    suem75 Occasional commenter

    I did that 12 years ago, and have had to complete the self assessment every year. I do have income from property in the UK, though.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    When I was living in the UK, I had an apartment that I was renting. My accountant did a great job with filling in lots of forms and all that sort of thing. He was always thinking of little tricks and wheezes for reducing the amount of tax I had to pay. I never objected to paying his fee, as it was excellent value for money.
    desertestrella7 likes this.
  7. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I am non-resident for taxation purposes, but I still have income from a rental property in the UK so I have to do a tax return even though the income isn't enough for me to have to pay any tax on it. It's ridiculous to have to go through all of this when they won't be charging me any tax anyway, it's such a waste of everyone's time!
    Does anyone know which software is the best one to use? I can't use the HMRC online form because the first question is "are you resident in the UK?" and if you say no then it takes you to a page telling you that you can't use that form.
    suem75 likes this.
  8. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    I've used Andica software before a few years ago. It was fine.
  9. desertestrella7

    desertestrella7 New commenter

    Like Hippo, I pay my accountant 200 GBP (no pound sign on my work PC!) + VAT and he does everything for me. I've never had to pay anything in the 9 years I've been away and he sorts out my 2 flat rentals, my share dividends and saves me a massive migraine each year. Well worth his fee.
  10. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I do it on paper.

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