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Self-assessment tax return system less enjoyable than a trip to the dentist

More than one-third (38 per cent) of UK taxpayers dread filing their tax return more than they do visiting their dentist, according to a recent survey by Which?

Other challenging tasks people surveyed would prefer to tackle than their annual tax return for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) include changing a dirty nappy (50 per cent), unblocking a drain (35 per cent) and cleaning out a filthy oven (34 per cent).

While dentist appointments are normally over within a matter of minutes, three-quarters of those surveyed said it took them at least three hours to complete their self-assessment duties; while 10 per cent said the process took them even longer than that.

And despite investing so much time and effort into filing their tax return online, 12 per cent said they still didn’t feel confident that their tax calculations were correct.

Harry Rose, money editor, Which? said: “People understandably find the prospect of grappling with lengthy, complex forms with confusing jargon really off-putting, and some delay completing their tax return despite the penalties.”

Nevertheless, some seem to relish the challenge of logging in to their personal tax accounts and formalising their tax liabilities.

More than 2,000 (2,044) people completed their self-assessment duties on Christmas Day last month, while a further 24,546 taxpayers sought to file their tax returns online on New Year’s Eve.

The deadline for self-assessment tax returns for the 2014-15 financial year is this Sunday 31st January. Those who miss the deadline and fail to pay their outstanding tax by Sunday will receive an instant £100 late filing penalty from HMRC.

The staff at HMRC are not tasked with advising you on how to organise your tax affairs and minimise your liabilities. Therefore, if you want to make sure you are paying the correct amount of tax, you should consult a professional.

Don’t delay and contact your local TaxAssist Accountant using our online enquiry form or by calling our friendly team on 0800 0523 555 and arrange your free initial consultation.

Image: Britt Reints

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