Many landlords submit their self-assessment tax returns either via software or their accountant but one of the questions that we’re frequently asked is ”who’s to blame if my tax is wrong?”.

We’re not saying that people are deliberately misinforming HMRC of their tax position (unfortunately some people do) but mistakes can happen.

And a tax enquiry by HMRC, however unlikely, can be a costly exercise if your tax return is incorrect.

But who is liable if there is a mistake or mis-calculation?

Not to sound too sarcastic, the short answer is in the name – you are required to ‘self-assess’ your tax liability.

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If you have submitted your return through an accountant, or with software, it’s likely that you have had to sign something, or tick a box to confirm that the information in your tax return is true and honest to the best of your ability and knowledge.

This might seem like just a hoop to jump through to submit your return, but really it’s confirming that you take full responsibility for the information you are about to share with HMRC.

But what if my accountant makes a mistake?

This is a tricky one – and we are in no way lawyers or legal experts. Accountants are usually thorough and careful with any of your financial data, providing that they have been given all of the appropriate and correct information.
Most practices will offer some sort of Tax Investigation insurance to cover the cost for their time – whether this will cover the cost of any miscalculated tax will depend on the policy taken out.

This also highlights the need to check and review the calculation sent to you by your accountant – never just assume that it’s correct.

What about software?

The thing about software is that it’s just a very clever calculator, with several convenient features to make your life easier (have you seen our new snap and store feature?) so the accuracy of that calculation again relies on the correct input from you, the taxpayer.

The good thing about APARI software is that we do everything possible to ensure that you do input the correct information – from our helpful In-Software reminders, to our FAQs and community blog, we aim to offer as much information as possible to our users so that they can get the most accurate tax calculation as possible.

But (and I know, we’re repeating ourselves) it is still your responsibility to check that the information you are submitting is correct (remember standard and premium APARI users do have access to support from an APARI tax nerd if they feel that they do need some help).

And we have now released a product designed to make calculating and submitting your tax return even easier. Check out our new Simple Self-Assessment here.

What if I make an error on my tax return?

People make mistakes for a number of reasons, so don’t panic. If you realise that you have made an error on your tax return, then inform HMRC as soon as possible by resubmitting your tax return.
If the new calculation incurs a higher tax liability than the original submission, then you should also pay the balance outstanding – you many be issued an interest charge on the outstanding amount

So the moral of the story? CHECK YOUR TAX RETURN FIGURES.

Because no matter your choice of submission route, or level of liability, you are the person responsible for your tax submission being correct.

Did you watch the APARI & LandlordZone Webinar? Don’t worry if you missed it – you can watch the webinar in full, and read all of our answers to your questions here!

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