Tuesday 29 April 2008 4.33pm
Have you tried reading the guide that comes with your tax return? It's meant to make the tax return comprehensible to non-tax-experts. It doesn't do such a bad job, actually.
If your income is really so simple, then I'd suggest that the only thing you may need professional help with is knowing what sort of things you can claim as allowable expenses. I can't stress enough that you should NOT rely on the word of a mate down the pub on that point (unless you have a mate who's an accountant or tax inspector). If you get it wrong, it's YOU who the revenue will chase and YOU who will be more likely for investigation in subsequent years. And there's often no sense at all in what's deductible and what isn't, so your instinct may well lead you the wrong way.
I'd suggest that you do as much as poss yourself, but pay for some advice on the technical aspects. You will probably only have to take the advice once (as, if your return is simple, and unless tax rules change radically yr on yr, then it's likely that things that are deductible this yr will also be deductible next yr).
If I were you, I might:
- read the HMRC guide/notes to the tax return so you know what you're doing in broad terms
- put together a list of all your income, and things that you think might be work-related expenses
- take all this to an accountant for a pre-agreed fixed fee meeting where you can get them to tell you whether there are any legal fiddles you can pull off in the way of claiming expenses. Can't imagine this could take more than an hour.
- go home and fill it in yourself, based on the advice given.
...if you press it, they will come.