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Two weeks left to submit your paper tax return

The deadline to submit your paper tax return is 31 October

The deadline for paper tax returns is 31 October 2017 – so those hoping to file their 2016-17 tax return by mail have less than two weeks to do so.

Here, our tax experts offer five top tips to help you submit your paper tax return efficiently.

  • We’ve developed an easy-to-use, jargon-free tax calculator, which offers personalised tax tips allowing you to submit your return with ease.

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Paper tax returns: five top tips

1. Your paper tax return must reach HMRC by 31 October 2017

When you send off a paper tax return, it must arrive at HMRC by 31 October 2017, so don’t post it at the last minute.

The costs of submitting late can be steep – if your return arrives after the deadline, you’ll receive an automatic £100 fine. If you leave things a little tight, get proof of postage in case you need to make an appeal.

2. Don’t stress over missing figures

You may find yourself chasing information up until the deadline. But don’t risk submitting late – if you’re still missing a figure, it’s acceptable to enter an estimate, submit your return and update it later on.

3. Sign your tax return

Don’t forget to sign your tax return. If you forget to do so, your form will be invalidated.

4. Amend any mistakes you make

If you discover a mistake after posting your tax return, send HMRC the correct figures by downloading and printing a new tax return. You’ll only need to resend the pages where the figures have changed. Fill them in and write ‘amendment’ on each page. Make sure you include your name and Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). This can be found on previous tax returns or letters from HMRC.

5. Consider submitting your tax return online

The deadline for online tax returns is three months after the paper return deadline (31 January 2018). Submitting digitally also offers the comfort of an instant acknowledgement that your tax return has been received.

Our guide on online tax returns explains how to get set up.

Alternatively, those using our online tax calculator can submit their return directly to HMRC via the tool.

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