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Author Topic: On-line tax returns - Beware of sneaky websites and snake-oil sellers.......  (Read 636 times)


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For those happy few of us who have to submit UK Self Assessment tax returns the opportunity exists to do it on-line. Be very careful, however, to only use the URL shown on the HMRC paper reminder letter.
Liz used Google to find "HMRC On-Line returns" or similar and ended up completing a whole tax return - including our bank details - before it was apparent that the actual website she was using is run by an independent company called "Your Tax Return Gateway". The clue is that the last page tells you that you owe nothing yet in tax but if you don't send 400 to them NOW then your tax return won't be submitted. It's their fee for doing essentially nothing - because you've just provided them with all of the information required by HMRC and in just about the same format that it goes onto the official form!
The official government gateway is free to use (God help us if the buggers start to charge us to send in a tax return.......) so don't get conned into paying a third party a fee to do it for you.
Me? I used the official website and finished up owing a whole quid in tax. O yeah? So come and get it, Georgie Boy   <*<


  • Full Mayhemer
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  • Huntingdon, Cambs, England
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I don't fill my tax return on-line and have fairly simple financial arrangements. A couple of years ago I submitted my paper return and received a letter back saying according to my figures I owed 86p however, HMRC had not checked my figure so do nothing. A few weeks later another letter confirming that I did indeed owe 86p but do nothing and I would be advised what course of action to take subsequently. A third letter advised me that my tax code would be adjusted to collect the 86p! Three letters for 86p! A year later guess what, I now owed 1.72! Another three letters and tax code adjustment. My estimation; it cost well over 500 in administration for 1.72

Go figure
Don't Assume Check


  • Full Mayhemer
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    • cleethorpes mba

There are companies out there now who will forward your filled in government form
for just about anything not just tax returns.
Driving licences, car tax, passport you name it,
someone will 'check' and forward for a fee.
Google brings up the paying advertisers first so
check the small print 'ads by google'
Gov UK is the way to go :-))

Smooth seas never made skilful sailors
Up Spirits  Stand fast the Holy Ghost.


  • Full Mayhemer
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  • Location: Hull,UK-but currently residing in Los Martinez, Spain.

They don't limit themselves to the UK either!

In Spain expats have to fill in a form called modelo 210 every year. For years we have left this to our solicitor to do, however this last year the fee from them (160) was more than the non-residents tax it refers to! So looking around and getting further details, the hacienda (spanish tax office) offers this form online both in spanish and english for self declaration, in effect do it for free. Fill out the form, then go down to the bank and pay the tax, the website returns a tax fee based on the figures you enter. Googling the form turned up several english companies also offering to fill it out for you, their fees ranged from 24 to 40.

So pay an exorbitant solicitor fee, pay one of these internet 'checking' companies or do it for free!


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Same with many things. If you are going to the USA from UK (and probably many other countries) you need to get an ESTA instead of a visa. From the official US gov't site it costs about /$14 (can't remember now which currency), but if you just Google ESTA it throws up a lot of other 'esta' sites which will help you through the complex and difficult process (no it isn't  :-)  ) and charge you several times the ESTA fee for the service.

Just remember - Google is NOT your friend. It's a commercial service.
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