If you are self-employed, or have earnings or profits from selling shares or property, then you need to submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC.
Income Tax is generally taken from your wages (if you are employed) or pension income before it reaches you, but some income isn’t taxed at source (e.g. bank interest, dividends, rental income, etc.). This means that even if you are employed you may need to submit a self-assessment tax return. This even applies to company directors or high earners who claim Child Benefit, have property rental income, or have a second business or income.
Who must submit a tax return?
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 rented out
- you have income from overseas
- your household receives Child Benefit and you have income in excess of £50,000
- you have sold or given an asset away (such as a holiday home or shares)
- you have lived or worked abroad or do not live in the UK
Want us to complete your tax return?
Our tax experts not only have a wealth of experience in this area, but also have access to the current software and systems, so your tax return can be completed as efficiently as possible.
We can also review your income with you and calculate your likely tax liability at any time, so you can save the maximum money entitled to you.
If you’ve never submitted a return before, you will first need to register for self-assessment on the GOV.UK website.
Once you have registered, you will be sent your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If you choose this service, you will need to inform us, so we can file your return.
How to submit your own return…
If you want to submit your self-assessment form online, you need to set up a Government Gateway account (if you do not have one already).
To do this, follow the instructions in the letter containing your UTR (see above). If you have submitted self-assessment tax returns before, you will need your UTR to register and create the account. You will only have one UTR throughout your lifetime, so check on previous correspondence from HMRC if you are struggling to find it.
Once you’ve set-up your account you will get an activation code in the post, which you need to complete the creation of your Gateway account.
It’s best to make sure you can access your Gateway account before you try and submit your self-assessment, just in case you can’t log in. This should save unnecessary stress if your login details are incorrect.
What are the self-assessment deadlines?
You submit tax returns for tax years, not calendar years, and this must be done in arrears. The tax year runs from 6th April one year to 5th April the next.
For untaxed income earned during the 2022-23 tax year, the online deadline for filing your self-assessment tax return and paying your bill is midnight 31 January 2024.
Self-assessment deadlines in 2023
Before the next online tax return deadline comes around, there are several other self-assessment dates in 2023 to bear in mind. It’s unlikely that all of them will be relevant to you. Please make sure you understand which ones apply so that you don’t miss any important deadlines.
- 31 July 2023 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 2021/22 and you owed tax of over £1,000 when you submitted your tax return for this period.
- 5 October 2023 is the deadline for telling HMRC that you’re self-employed, so that they are 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 2023 is the self-assessment deadline for the tax year 2022/23, if you choose to file a paper return, rather than completing this activity online. However, most taxpayers find it easier to file their tax return online and under the government’s Making Tax Digital plans, eventually paper filing will not be an option.
- 30 December 2023 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 is already taxed through PAYE (e.g. if you’re employed as well as self-employed) and if your self-assessment tax bill for 2022-23 is below £3,000.
Self-employed income earned after 5 April 2022
If you continue earning untaxed income from 6 April 2022, this will fall into the tax year 2022-23, which ends on 5 April 2023.
The deadline for filing a 2022-23 self-assessment tax return will be midnight on 31 January 2024.
If you fail to meet one or more of these deadlines, you might be charged a penalty.
What information will you need to fill in a self-assessment tax return?
If you have never filled in a self-assessment tax return before, it can seem quite 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, rental properties, dividends and interest on shares
- records of any expenses relating to self-employment and let property
- 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 have already paid tax on
- P11d return of any benefits in kind provided by your employer
- Details of any foreign income – interest, dividends, rent, pensions, etc.
Making Tax Digital for Income Tax
Although Making Tax Digital reforms have been postponed several times, they are coming.
The proposed changes are currently set to begin in 2026 for the first intake. This will affect those with self-employed income or rental income in excess of £50,000, who will be expected to keep digital records and submit updates of those records, at least every quarter, via software, compatible with HMRC.
Although this may seem a long way off it’s a good idea to keep an eye on Making Tax Digital announcements in case there are any updates and prepare accordingly.
Our personal and self-assessment tax expert
Need some help with your personal or self-assessment taxes? Alison Tideswell is our resident expert, who alongside our Tax team can guide you through the process, or complete the relevant submissions. We understand that many self-employed people are not financial experts and would rather focus on what they do best. Whatever your requirements, Burton Sweet can tailor our advice to your experience, accounting and self-assessment needs.
It’s never too early to think about your tax return. The last thing you want is to be panicking just before the deadline.
Contact Alison if you would like some assistance and are interested in any of the services we provide.