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Self Assessment Tax Returns With HMRC

I have been self-employed for 3 years now. I have filled out 2 self assessment tax returns with the HMRC, and I have another due to be filled in the next few weeks. My experience with the self assessment tax returns with HMRC has been good. I found my first experience a lot more scary than the second. Which is perfectly understandable as that was my very first time submitting my tax returns. But since then, it has been great.

HMRC website is user-friendly and pretty self-explanatory. I found the filling out of the tax returns quite straight forward for me. But that may be because I have a degree in Accounting, and I am married to a qualified accountant. So whenever I get stuck, he comes to the rescue. It could also be because of great online resources like Talk Tax. For those who have never heard of Talk Tax before, it is a great website set up in 2014, that provides hard to reach HMRC contact numbers and articles to inform readers about policy change/benefits/ self-assessment and more.

 

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When it comes to getting important things sorted, like my tax returns, I don’t play. I take it very seriously. I believe in being proactive and not reactive when it comes to tax business. And that has helped me stay on top of my business.

These 2 tips for filling out your self assessment tax returns have come in handy for me, and they may work for you too.

 

Start Early

This is the first and most important tip when it comes to filling out your tax returns. You need to be an early bird, and start early. So when the window opens in April, you get it submitted before the summer months. That way you have the time to spread your tax and national insurance payments (if any). Starting early also means you will have the time to take your time filling out your tax returns properly.

When you leave it all until the last-minute, you start to panic so you rush, and you are more likely to make mistakes. You may also have to go into debt to pay your tax bill if you are not prepared. January 31st is the cut of date for self-employed self assessment tax returns, and many people struggle to pay up their bill before the end of January since most of the money has been spent on the Christmas shopping. Plus January is usually a quite month for most businesses. Which is why I like to get mine done long before then. Don’t leave your tax returns until the last-minute.

 

Keep Records

Starting early would work great if you keep records. Ensure you have a spreadsheet for every invoice you send and for any money I spend or receive. Having records will ensure you fill out your tax returns with the right figures quickly. It makes the process a lot easier.

The last thing you want is to fill out wrong information on your tax returns. That would land you in trouble quickly with the HMRC. Having up to date records means you won’t have to guess any figures.

 

Many people are usually frightened when it comes to anything tax related and I understand why It is because they are not well equipped and usually not informed. There are loads of information around to help you submit your tax returns yourself and if you are unable to do so, you can always hire someone else to sort it out for you.

Remember, if  you don’t complete a Self Assessment return for each tax year before the deadline, you will get a penalty fine. This penalty starts at £100 for delays of up to 3 months but will increase the later you leave it. HMRC may also charge you interest on late payments. So ensure you get your tax returns in before the deadline.

 

How do you find the process of submitting your tax returns? Easy or complicated?

 

*Collaborative post.

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8 Skincare Mistakes You Make When You Wash Your Face

Washing your face is essential for your skincare routine. This simple step, when done properly, can keep away acne breakouts, infections and irritation. When it comes to beauty and skincare, many of us make terrible choices due to laziness/lack of information.

 

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However, as simple as washing your face is we’ve made mistakes while giving our face a nice cleanse. Here are the top 8 skincare mistakes you might be guilty of when you wash your face.

 

Oops #1: You don’t wash your face before you sleep

Washing your face is the last thing you’d think of when you’re so exhausted, but now is time to have a rethink. Not washing your face before bedtime is a popular skincare mistake.

When you go out, you get exposed to pollution from the fumes and smoke from engines of vehicles, dust and dirt in the air and smog from factories. All these come in form of tiny particles that are small enough to get absorbed into your skin.

When you skip washing your face before bedtime, it gives a chance for those particles to cause infections that could make your skin inflamed and irritated.

 

Oops #2: You wash your face with bar soap

It’s a common sight for people to reach for a bar of soap when they want to wash their face. However, bar soap is harsh on the skin. It strips the natural oils off your skin. Your face needs the moisture to keep it hydrated. If your face is too dry it activates the sebaceous glands to produce more oils and this could lead to acne breakout. So, opt for a gentle cleanser instead to avoid this skincare mistake.

 

Oops #3: You lather and scrub your face longer than necessary

This may come as a surprise but lathering and scrubbing for too long initiates irritation, redness and even cuts. Aim for a 20-30 seconds lather or scrub. Do this in circular motions paying close attention to your T-zone and chin. Once the time is up, wash with water.

 

Oops #4: You use water that is too hot

No matter how good washing your face with hot water feels, you need to cool it down a bit. Experts say that hot water can cause your skin to dry out faster as the hot water strips your skin off its oils that keep it hydrated. So use lukewarm water to wash your face. Warm water is less damaging than steaming hot water.

 

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Oops #5: You wash more than twice a day

Washing your face multiple times during the day could be damaging to your skin because frequent washing dries your face out and irritates your skin. Stick to washing your face twice a day (once in the morning and once at night).

An exception to this rule is when you workout as keeping the sweat on your face may cause infections.

 

Oops #6: You cleanse after using a face mask

After a nice relaxing and rejuvenating face mask, many women follow it with a cleanse to take the mask off. The ingredients in the face mask were discovered to be 300 percent more potent than serums. When you cleanse off your face mask, you cut short the hydrating and repairing effect of the mask on your skin. Instead, only use lukewarm water to remove the mask while allowing the ingredients that seeped into your skin to do their work.

 

Oops #7: You wipe your face with your towel

As strange as this may sound, it was discovered that you transfer microorganisms from your body to your face when you use the same towel you use to wipe your body after a shower. Having such microorganisms on your face can cause skin problems. It’s best to have a separate towel dedicated only for wiping your face.

 

Oops #8: You skip the early morning cleanse

Even if you washed your face at night, you must not miss the morning wash. The germs on your pillow, oil from your hair and saliva can cause your skin to breakout. That is why when you wake up in the morning you need to make sure to wash your face to remove any germs that you contacted when you were having your beauty sleep.

Also, not moisturising immediately after cleansing your face is another popular mistake. You need to moisturise as soon as you are done cleansing so your face soaks in all the moisture while damp.

 

Did any of these skincare mistakes surprise you?

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