Self assessment WTF



  • You'd have thought that HMRC would at least put checks in for this sort of thing. Then again...

    Our records show that your 2009-10 PAYE Notice of coding includes an adjustment for tax underpaid. Underpaid tax for 2008-09 included in your tax code for 2009-10: £0



  • Yeah, the software's kind of buggy like that.  Last year I had a problem where the truthful answer to a certain question was £0.00, but it wouldn't accept that value.  Eventually I called their helpline who told me it was a known issue (the official workaround was to put in £1.00 and then explain why in the "extra information" section).

    But enough of this serious chit-chat.  The real WTF is that you're doing your tax return in April.  Why aren't you waiting till January 29th like a normal person?



  • @Iago said:

    The real WTF is that you're doing your tax return in April.  Why aren't you waiting till January 29th like a normal person?
    Because if I'm due a rebate I'd rather have it in my bank account now rather than theirs for the next 10 months. (On the flip side, if I'm behind with my tax, it doesn't matter when it's done, since I ask for my tax code for the next tax year to be adjusted.)



  •  

    On the flip side, if I'm behind with my tax, it doesn't matter when it's done, since I ask for my tax code for the next tax year to be adjusted.

     Sweet.  Around these parts, if you owe tax, you generally have to pay it in full on April 15.

     I wish I had some screenshots, but when I was doing my taxes with a desktop app, I had a little box in the corner with my "refund status".  That box went from +$7000 (Sweet!) to -$6000 (Oh crap!  Where am I going to come up with $6000?) to settle around +$700 as I filled in the tax form line by line.  Shouldn't it be blank if it has no freaking idea what your refund is going to be yet, instead of inducing such spurious emotional highs and lows in its unsuspecting user?



  • @WayneCollins said:

     

    On the flip side, if I'm behind with my tax, it doesn't matter when it's done, since I ask for my tax code for the next tax year to be adjusted.

     Sweet.  Around these parts, if you owe tax, you generally have to pay it in full on April 15.

    To clarify this a bit (for .uk):

    If I owe < £2,000 for the 2008-09 tax year, (and it is submitted online before 30th Dec '09) I can have my 2010-11 tax code adjusted so that any underpayment can be collected via Income tax during that tax year.

    Otherwise the amount due for '08-09 has to be paid before 31st Jan '10. This is also the last date for submitting your tax return online (thus Iago's comment - quite a few people seem to treat this as a target.)

    When I started doing S.A. it turned out that my then primary[1] place of employment seemed incapable of calculating my tax on my payslips correctly (since I used to get paid extra for site work regularly, and payroll seemed to regularly screw up in one way or another,) resulting in my getting substantial rebates from HMRC.

    These days I have untaxed income which means I usually end up owing tax.

     

    [1] I had a 2nd (part time) job, which is why I started doing S.A. in the first place - wouldn't have known any different otherwise!



  • @WayneCollins said:

    instead of inducing such spurious emotional highs and lows in its unsuspecting user?
     

    My last tax return my accountant said I'd get back $1700 or so. Sweet! New computer for me!

    I ended up getting about $70 (which sucked as his bill was $99) as he forgot one important part. :(

    So I'm still using this AMD XP1800...



  • @Zemm said:

    I ended up getting about $70 (which sucked as his bill was $99) as he forgot one important part. :(
    You didn't get a (partial) refund for his incompetance? (And are you required to hire an accountant in .au for your tax returns?)



  • @Zemm said:

    @WayneCollins said:

    instead of inducing such spurious emotional highs and lows in its unsuspecting user?
     

    My last tax return my accountant said I'd get back $1700 or so. Sweet! New computer for me!

    I ended up getting about $70 (which sucked as his bill was $99) as he forgot one important part. :(

    So I'm still using this AMD XP1800...

     

    Yeah, I know the feeling. I did a bunch of contract work in my last year at uni (was studying part time), and thought I was definitely going to get a big chunk of that tax back.

    What I didn't notice was that the contract work pushed my yearly income to just the right point where I'd have to pay 4% of my gross income into my HECS debt (sort of Australian student loans, but less shitty than the US ones, for people too lazy to read the link).

    After a couple of weeks thinking about what I could do with the cash, I got a bill for a couple hundred bucks.

    Cock.



  • @PJH said:

    (And are you required to hire an accountant in .au for your tax returns?)
     

    No, usually one would use the "Tax Pack" or the online version of it called "e-tax" - I don't know equivalents in other countries. I get most of my money from a full-time job but as I still have my ABN (Australian Business Number) and I do make some income using that (a bit of freelance) and using an accountant makes it much easier to work out all the deductions etc.

    @PJH said:

    You didn't get a (partial) refund for his incompetance?

    At least that $99 is a deduction for this financial year (which goes from July to June)



  • @Iago said:

    Last year I had a problem where the truthful answer to a certain question was £0.00, but it wouldn't accept that value.  Eventually I called their helpline who told me it was a known issue (the official workaround was to put in £1.00 and then explain why in the "extra information" section).

     I had a few answers like that this year, but found that leaving the box absolutely blank worked.

     @lago said:

    The real WTF is that you're doing your tax return in April.  Why aren't you waiting till January 29th like a normal person?
     

     Aww... I''m not normal either, I did mine on Sunday... and was surprised to see it report a couple of thousand pounds overpayment in tax (I'd mistaken included NI contributions in my 'tax already deducted from salary'). Just need to wait for employer to give me a P60 & P11D to ensure my figures are correct and that's it done.



  • @WayneCollins said:

    Shouldn't it be blank if it has no freaking idea what your refund is going to be yet, instead of inducing such spurious emotional highs and lows in its unsuspecting user?

    Perhaps. Or maybe the user should have a better understanding of the numbers he is putting in, and what they mean, and how they would affect his end balance line by line, particularly when his return is only partly filled out.

    Example: Should I take the medical expenses deduction? Program says "you need 7.5% of your AGI to qualify..." Now you get to find out that taking an estimated 7.5% plus $400 dollars in expenses as a deduction gets you a net change of +$35. Then you can decide if it's worth your time scaring up all the receipts to prove it; if it'll take 5 hours, why bother?


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