Self Assessment

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 have changed the whole tax return system and moved over 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

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.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.

Self-employed income earned between April 2018 and April 2019

For untaxed income earned during the 2018-19 tax year, the online deadline for filing your Self Assessment tax return and paying your bill is midnight 31 January 2020.

Self Assessment deadlines in 2019

Before the next online tax return deadline comes around, there are several other Self Assessment dates in 2019 to bear in mind. It’s unlikely that all of them will be relevant to you, but understand which ones apply so that you don’t miss any important deadlines.

  • 31 July 2019 is the deadline for making your second ‘payment on account’ instalment to HMRC. This will only apply to you if you were self-employed during the tax year 2017-18 and you owed tax of over £1,000 when you submitted your tax return for this period.
  • 5 October 2019 is the deadline for telling HMRC that you’re self-employed so that they’re aware you need to complete a tax return next year. If you’re already registered as self-employed, there’s no need to do this again.
  • 31 October 2019 is the Self Assessment deadline for the tax year 2018-19 if you want to file a paper return rather than filing online. However, most businesses find it easier to file their tax return online – and under the government’s Making Tax Digital plans, eventually paper filing may not be an option.
  • 30 December 2019 is the deadline for filing your online tax return if you want the tax owed to be collected through PAYE via your tax code. This is only an option if you have some income that’s already taxed through PAYE (i.e. you’re employed as well as self-employed), and if your Self Assessment tax bill for 2018-19 is below £3,000. 

Self-employed income earned between April 2019 and April 2020

If you continue earning untaxed income from 6 April 2019, this will fall into the tax year 2019-20, which ends on 5 April 2020.

The deadline for filing a 2019-20 Self Assessment tax return will be midnight on 31 January 2021, although keep an eye on Making Tax Digital announcements in case there are any updates.

    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.

    Further Information

    For further details, please call us on 01934 620011 or send us a message now.

    Need help? Get in touch.


    For more information about this, please contact :

    Alison Tideswell

    Alison Tideswell

    Tax Senior - Personal

    Chris Mair

    Chris Mair

    Director of Taxation and Trust Services