Emily Coltman

About the author: Emily Coltman, FCA is the chief accountant for FreeAgent, who make online accounting software for small businesses and freelancers.

Common tax return mistakes

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Knowing what expenses you can and can’t claim for is a really common source of confusion for small business owners. For more information and to keep you right download our comprehensive A to Z of expenses and read it through before filling in your tax return.


Hi, I'm Emily Coltman, I'm chief accountant to FreeAgent where we make online accounting software for small businesses.

So, what are the most common tax return mistakes? What should you watch out for when you're filling in your tax return.

Well if you're a sole trader, make sure that you include the right expenses. Make sure that you don't miss out expenses that you could be entitled to claim, such as business use of home.

But equally, make sure you don't put in expenses that you shouldn't be claiming, like entertaining clients. We've got a really helpful A to Z guide for which expenses you can and can't include on your tax return, have a look under the video for more information.

What are the other gotchas for a tax return? Well, one of them is certainly using a P60 for the wrong tax year, if you've got a job. Make sure you use the P60 for the correct tax year. That also goes for bank interest certificates, for dividends – make sure you put them in for the right year.

And one final point to remember, if this is your first year of doing a tax return, don't forget to register with the Revenue in good time, because part of the registration process involves the Revenue sending you an activation code through the post and that can take up to seven days to arrive. So, make sure that you give plenty of time for that to arrive in time for you to complete the registration and get your tax return in by the end of January.

If you'd like more information about how FreeAgent can help you file your tax return click the link above the video.

Disclaimer: The content included in this guide is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this guide. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.