If you’re a director and the total value of dividends paid out by the company to you at the end of a tax year has a credit balance (below zero), you’ll receive the following error message when trying to view your tax return:
“There's a problem with the data in your XXXX/XX Self Assessment Return.”
To identify which dividends might need changing, navigate to the ‘My Money’ tab at the top of the screen and select ‘Dividends’ from the drop-down menu.
Select your name and the relevant tax year from the drop-down menus.
If the total value of dividends paid out by the company to you at the end of the tax year has a credit balance (below zero), the ‘Total Paid’ figure will be negative. This negative balance triggers the error message, as a company can’t pay out negative dividends. For more information about dividends, please see this article.
The dividend vouchers can be accessed by selecting the dividend description. Looking at these will confirm which dividends may need changing.
Once you’ve identified which dividend(s) need to be changed, you can follow the steps below to correct the negative balance.
Correcting the negative dividend balance
When creating journal entries to record a dividend, the dividend journal should be a debit entry to code ‘908 - Dividend’. For more information, please see this article.
Select the relevant accounting year and your dividend account from the drop-down menus. Remember that the negative balance is triggered by dividends being less than zero in a tax year, so you may need to look at figures for two accounting years.
Select the description of the dividend(s) that needs to be corrected and make the relevant changes.
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