Time for tax returns

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Paper tax returns have to be completed by the 31st October. They're a pain to fill in but a necessary evil for self-employed, high earners and certain other people. The good thing about them is they make you pay attention to how much you're being taxed - very often people are taxed more than they should be. Research has shown that this year over £10billion of avoidable tax will be paid. Read on for some tips on how to pay less tax.

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For more tax information, read AOL Money's articles about the tax handbook, unclaimed children's tax allowances and filing tax returns.

If you're employed, your company probably does your tax deduction for you. Make sure you check your payslip carefully. If your tax code is wrong you could be paying too much tax. The revenue and customs website explains all about tax codes, as does the government website Directgov.

Many people are unaware they are entitled to tax credits, which are available to low earners and families with children. Find out if you are entitled to tax credits by taking a questionnaire at the HMRC website.

Your savings won't be taxed if you earn less than the personal allowance, which is £6,035 for those under 65. Your bank can give you a form R85 which will prevent tax being deducted from your savings, rather than waiting for a rebate. If you open an ISA for your savings, this will be tax free up to £3,600 a year in cash. If you have children, the R85 form can be useful again since most likely your child will not use their personal allowance with earnings and can save more without being taxed.

A final way to get some of your tax back is by checking your council tax banding. If your house is in the wrong band then one phone call could rectify this and also land a fat cheque in your lap.
Do you think we pay too much tax in the UK? Do you know of any good tips for cutting your tax payments? - legit ones please! Leave a comment and share your thoughts.