Freelancers’ Questions: Can I change my tax return after filing it?

Freelancer's Question: As a self-employed person, is it possible to change something on my tax return even after I have submitted it to HM Revenue & Customs? If HMRC does find fault with the return, at what stage would I know whether they are enquiring into it and what should I expect from such an enquiry?

Expert's Answer: It is possible to amend your return once it has been submitted. The deadline for tax return amends is 12 months following the tax return deadline. If you have submitted your return online you can make amends by logging into your online account on the HMRC website. If you have completed a paper return then the usual correction procedure is to send HMRC the correct pages of your paper return and mark them for amendment.

If HMRC decides to investigate your tax return they will contact you in writing, within 12 month of receiving your return.

If you have amended your return or submitted your return late, HMRC is entitled to an enquiry window of 12 months following receipt of your tax return and up until the next “quarter day”. The quarter days are January 31st, April 30th, July 31st and October 31st.

In the event that the department does enquire into your return, they may ask to see proof of income, expense receipts and other records such as bank statements. It is recommended that self-employed individuals keep copies of these records, in particular expense receipts and proof of income for seven years in case HMRC requests to view them.

The expert was Heather Dore, regional manager of Easy Accountancy, a tax and accounting practice specialising in freelancers and the self-employed.


5th November 2014

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