A simple guide to UK self-assessment tax returns

Self-assessment tax returns come around once a year and can cause quite an aggravation amongst business owners, entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Here is a simplified guide to what are self-assessment tax returns, and do you need to file one?

What are self-assessment tax returns?


Self-assessment tax returns exist to ensure individuals report their annual earnings and the sources of these earnings to HMRC. It then allows HMRC to calculate how much tax you as an individual are liable to pay in the relevant tax year. As suggested by the name, self-assessment tax returns are the individual’s responsibility, so it is essential you understand if, how, and when to file the paperwork.


Who must complete a tax return?


In the UK, if you are an employee of a company, your tax will be deducted via the PAYE system. This is a system by which your employer deducts a percentage of your wage in tax as per the relevant tax code. If your employer uses this method, you will not need to fill in a separate annual self-assessment unless you have a second source of income (i.e. a personal business on the side).

Self-assessment tax returns are mainly used by people who are self-employed, for example, freelance contractors, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Another event where self-assessment tax returns would be required would be if you live in the UK but have income generated abroad. Likewise, if you live overseas and have an income in the UK, you will need to pay tax on this income. A good example of this is non-residential landlords. If you are unsure whether you qualify, you can take a short test on the government website to check if you need to fill out a self-assessment tax return.


What you should include in your tax return:


It is essential you provide the following information accurately:

  • Your national insurance number and if you have one, your employee reference number.

  • Your P60 form (summary of income and tax deductions)

  • Your P11D form (summary of expenses and benefits)

  • A review of any personal profit or investment

  • Capital gains summaries (for example from the sale shares or property)

  • A list of taxable benefits you receive from employers or the government


When is my tax return due?


It is vital you meet the deadline to send in your return and pay any tax you owe because if you don’t, you will face penalties. Here are the important deadlines:

  • 5th October – Apply for self-assessment online

  • 31st October – Paper tax return

  • 30th December – Submit your online return by this date if you want HMRC to collect your tax

  • 31st January – Online tax return (and pay tax you owe)

If you are a UK resident submitting a self-employed self-assessment, you can choose whether to submit it by post or online. If you are a non-resident and need to submit a non-resident tax return you cannot submit this return online, you will either need to post your personal tax returns or consider getting an accountant to submit this on your behalf. At More Group, we can register and activate your account with HMRC. We can then handle your entire tax return, removing the annual anxiety. We can provide excellent self-assessment tax advice and will make sure your self-assessment is prepared accurately and submitted on time.


What are the penalties for late submission?


If you do not pay your tax owed for the previous year on time, you will face a penalty, which will increase the longer you leave it.

A one-day delay can result in a £100 penalty. If you are three months late, you can be charged £10 a day, with a maximum of £900. For submissions which are six months late you will need to pay a £300 fine or 5% of tax due, whichever is the higher amount. The penalty for submitting your return 12 months late is the same as for six months.

We can provide you with peace of mind that your HM revenue tax return will be completed correctly and filed on time. If you are a busy person and think you might miss the deadline, we can help.


Contact More Group today so you can relax knowing your personal tax return is professionally managed.

Note: The information should not be construed as legal or other advice as it designed as an information source only © More Group 2018. All rights reserved.

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