How to do your own tax return

Doing your own tax return couldn't be simpler. First of all do it in plenty of time before the deadline as if its your first one you'll have to send off for your gateway password which can take a little time to come.

Now there is absolutely no point in giving you a step by step guide as the website does it for you, it tells you exactly what to do on each page.

What I would do is arm yourself with a calculator a notepad and pen and be logged into your online banking incase you have lost any invoices or payslips.

Prior to this if you haven't already separate all your receipts from the previous tax year into the months of the year they were from.

Once you've separated them, get a clean sheet of paper and write April 2011 for example. Check your online bank and add up all your self employed earnings for this month and write earnings and what they equal at the top of the page. Next work out the total of your receipts that you are claiming as expenses and write expenses and that amount below.

Do this for every month of the year. Remember to include your equity direct debit if you have one too, I sometimes forget about that. Also if you have an office at home or study that you use purely for sourcing acting work then you can claim a percentage of your utility bills too but google this to find out exactly what you can claim.

Once you are armed with all this information log on to do your tax return. Here's the website

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/file-online.htm

My tax return usually takes about 3 hours to do total from start to finish, so allow yourself enough time in your day to do it.

The website talks you through every single step so you'll be absolutely fine!