Do I need to prepare a Tax Return?
Not everyone needs to prepare a tax return. Income Tax is generally taken from your wages or pension income before it reaches you. But some income isn’t taxed at source, like self employed earnings or profits from selling shares or property. Self Assessment is how HMRC collect tax from people and businesses with these types of income. There are others – like Company Directors or High Earners claiming Child Benefit – who also need to complete a Self Assessment Return.
HMRC are planning to change the whole tax return system and move over completely to a more streamlined and automated process of calculating your tax liabilities (that will consign paper tax returns to history). However, there have been numerous delays and the new ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) regime is being introduced more slowly than originally announced. See our Making Tax Digital Page for the latest information about MTD.
Until Making Tax Digital is fully in force…
You might need to complete and submit a tax return if:
- You are self employed or a partner in a partnership
- You are a company director
- You have large amounts of savings or investment income
- You have untaxed savings or investment income
- You own land or property that is being let
- Your household receives Child Benefit and you have income in excess of £50,000
- You have income from overseas
- You have sold or given an asset away (such as a holiday home or some shares)
- You’ve lived or worked abroad or aren’t domiciled in the UK
Highly experienced taxation experts at Burton Sweet have access to the most current software and systems to complete any tax returns as efficiently as possible. And, whilst the advent of HMRC’s new digital tax system MTD is around the next corner, we welcome the chance to review and report on your likely tax liability at any time throughout the financial calendar. And, when MTD’s digital tax system is full in force, we will still be here to help you with preparing your submissions for your approval.
How to register for a Self Assessment tax return?
If you’ve never submitted a return before, you will first need to register for Self Assessment. There are different ways to register if you’re self-employed, not self-employed but need to declare income, or if you’re in a partnership.
Once you have registered, you will be sent your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
If you want to submit your Self Assessment form online, you will then need to set up a Government Gateway account. To do this, follow the instructions in the letter containing your UTR.
Once you’ve set-up the account you will get an activation code in the post, which you need to complete the set-up of your Gateway account.
If you have submitted Self Assessment tax returns before, you will need your old UTR to register and set up the account.
It’s best to make sure you can access you Gateway account before you try and submit your Self Assessment to save time if for any reason you can’t log in.
What are the Self Assessment deadlines?
You submit tax returns for tax years, not calendar years, and you do this in arrears.
For example, for the 2017/18 tax year, running 6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018, you would:
- need to register for Self Assessment by 5 October 2018 if you’ve never submitted a return before
- submit your return by midnight 31 October 2018 if filing a paper tax return
- submit your return by midnight 31 January 2019 if filing online
- pay the tax you owe by midnight 31 January 2019.
If you fail to meet one or more of these deadlines, you might be charged a penalty fee.
What information will I need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return?
If you’ve never filled in a self-assessment tax return before, it can be very daunting. However, once you understand the process, it’s relatively simple, and we are here to help you through the process.
Before you start, make sure you have:
- your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- your National Insurance number
- details of your untaxed income from the tax year, including income from self-employment, dividends and interest on shares
- records of any expenses relating to self-employment
- any contributions to charity or pensions which might be eligible for tax relief
- P60 or other records showing how much income you received which you’ve already paid tax on.