Self-assessment refers to the standard tax return form that is completed by the self-employed and many business owners.

It’s called self-assessment because it is your responsibility to work out how much tax you have to pay.

Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about self-assessment tax returns.


Do I need to file a self-assessment tax return?

You will need to submit a Self-assessment tax return if you’re self-employed, or have taxable gains to declare to HMRC. The UK Gov website has a full list of who must send a tax return.

You’ll also need to file the tax return if you’re the director of a company or earn over £100,000 per annum.

If you pay income tax through a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme, then you won’t need to self-assess.


When do I file my self-assessment tax return?

If you’re going to file your self-assessment tax return online, this will need to be done by 31 January after the end of the tax year.

If you’re not filing your return online, it needs to be done by 31 October after the end of the tax year.

The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April of the following year.

The easiest way to submit your tax reform is to use the online self-assessment HMRC login.

Remember to save your tax return after it has been filed. You need to keep records for up to six years prior and HMRC can issue a fine for each tax year you don’t have the correct records for.


What do I need to include in my self-assessment tax return?

A self-assessment tax return should include

  • Your P60 form, which is a summary of your income and tax deductions
  • Your P11D form, which covers expenses and benefits
  • Details of other personal income and investments
  • Capital gains from the sale of assets, including shares and property
  • Any taxable benefits from employers or the government
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number and employer reference, if you have one

If you’re filing online, HMRC will provide other information like state pension, underpayments and some NI contributions.

Some tax breaks will be included in your tax returns. You won’t, however, need to include any tax-free income earned.


How do I prepare a self-assessment tax return?

Try and get copies of bank statements, invoices and other important paperwork to support your claims. If you can’t get these copies, offer provisional or estimated’ figures.

Just make sure you say this is what you’re doing in the ‘any other information’ box on the tax form.

Self-assessment software has a number of advantages. Primarily, it allows you to upload invoices and receipts each month, which makes it easier for you to go through your year’s financial activity. This in turn helps make your Self-assessment easier and more accurate.


Can you help me with my self-assessment tax return?

Absolutely! Cooper Accounting works with sole traders, small business and partnerships throughout West Yorkshire to complete their returns with the minimum of fuss.

Get in touch to set up an informal chat.