This viral tweet perfectly sums up how the self-employed feel about the tax return process

Ah, tax return season. The time of year when small business owners and the self-employed end up tearing their hair out trying to give HMRC all the information they need.

For many, though, the issue isn’t actually filling in their Self Assessment tax return, but logging on to the government portal in the first place.

Is there such a thing as too secure?

While many online accounts have more security measures in place than just a username and password, the process of signing into to file your tax return can feel like an uphill battle.

Twitter user @JBwol has articulated these frustrations in a way that resonates with many who are in the throes of filing their tax return or have recently submitted it:

In order to sign in to file your tax return, you have to provide a variety of information, which can include your user ID and password, your Unique Taxpayer Reference(UTR), your National Insurance number, the code from a text message that HMRC sends you, and another form of identification, most commonly a passport number.

A number of small business owners and self-employed people have ended up increasingly irritated as, after filling all the information in, they were greeted with the following message:

online self assessment requires a variety of information

And this is all before you even get to the actual tax return part of the process.

No UTR? No last minute tax return

One of the biggest pain points for anyone filing their tax return is getting hold of their UTR. If you don’t have it to hand, you’ll need to contact HMRC so that they can post it to you, and it can take a minimum of 10 days to arrive.

For anyone who has yet to file their tax return - and there are less than 24 hours to go until the deadline - it’s too late to get hold of this information before the deadline.

If you are struggling to find your UTR, try one of these places:

  • on the SA250 form you received when you registered as self-employed
  • on a previous Self Assessment tax return
  • on your first communication from HMRC if you incorporated a limited company
  • on a notice to file
  • on a payment reminder from HMRC.

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