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.
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
Our tax 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 your income with you and calculate your likely tax liability at any time, and to help you calculate your tax liability at the year end and file your Tax Return.
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), which we will need to be able to file your return.
Doing it yourself
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. If you have submitted Self Assessment tax returns before, you will need your old UTR to register and set up the account.
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.
It’s best to make sure you can access you Gateway account before you try and submit your Self Assessment, just in case 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 2019 and April 2020
For untaxed income earned during the 2019-20 tax year, the online deadline for filing your Self Assessment tax return and paying your bill is midnight 31 January 2021.
Self Assessment deadlines in 2020
Before the next online tax return deadline comes around, there are several other Self Assessment dates in 2020 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 2020 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 2018-19 and you owed tax of over £1,000 when you submitted your tax return for this period. The Government has given taxpayers a further six months, until 31 January 2021, to pay this as part of the Coronavirus relief measures, but many clients have chosen to pay on the normal due date to avoid having to find a much larger amount in the new year.
- 5 October 2020 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 2020 is the Self Assessment deadline for the tax year 2019-20 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 2020 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 2019-20 is below £3,000.
Self-employed income earned between April 2020 and April 2021
If you continue earning untaxed income from 6 April 2020, this will fall into the tax year 2020-21, which ends on 5 April 2021.
The deadline for filing a 2020-21 Self Assessment tax return will be midnight on 31 January 2022, 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, property rents, 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’ve 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