It can be daunting joining the self employed world, especially if you’ve previously been in employment. A Self Assessment tax return is often something you’ve never had to complete before.
It’s important that you understand your obligations and what is expected of you by the HMRC now that you’re self employed, and this can become quite a learning curve!
You will be expected to file a self assessment return once a year (this will change in 2023 to quarterly) to notify the HMRC of your income, and how much tax you’ll need to pay. If you’ve never done this before, much of the terminology can be confusing.
If self assessment sounds like more of a headache than you thought or is simply not your strong point, we can take care of your self assessment tax return, along with guiding you through being self employed, freeing you up to do the things you like to do in your business.
The personal tax year runs from 6th April – 5th April each year, with a tax return expected by the HMRC no later than the 31st January following the end of the tax year end.
If you are self-employed, a partner in a partnership, a company director or you have income other than from employment you must submit a self assessment tax return.
If your tax bill is more than £1,000 under self assessment, you will be required to make payments in advance for the next tax year based on an estimate calculated from your last tax return. This is so that tax payers under self assessment do not receive an unfair advance in delaying paying their taxes compared to their employed counterparts, who will pay their taxes under PAYE.
The Freedom in Numbers team are always on hand to provide support suited to your business, including advice on getting the most out of your finances.
What is self assessment?
Self Assessment is a system the HMRC uses to collect income tax and national insurance contributions.
In ordinary employment, tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings, but people who are self employed or have other income (apart from employment) must report it in a tax return so that the HMRC collects the right amount of tax.
Why do I need to do a self assessment tax return?
Self Assessment therefore doesn’t affect everyone, and you will normally only need to complete a form if one or more of the following apply to you:
You are working for yourself – you are self-employed,
You are a partner in a partnership business,
You are a minister of religion – any faith or denomination,
You are a trustee or the executor of an estate,
You are a company director and have income not taxed under PAYE,
You have other untaxed income (rental, pension, investments, bank interest or foreign income),
You have received income from a trust or estate,
You are an overseas resident (you don’t live in the UK) but you have taxable UK income,
You are in receipt of child benefit, but earn more than £50,000,
You earn more than £100,000 a year before tax,
You have sold an asset (ie an investment property) and need to tell the HMRC.
The HMRC may also ask you to complete a tax return for other reasons.
Do I need an accountant to do my self assessment tax return?
You don’t need an accountant to complete a self-assessment tax return, but it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into if you choose to do it yourself.
Choosing the right accountant can help you understand your self assessment tax return and ensure that you are benefitting from all the allowances available to you.
How much do accountants charge for self assessment?
In many instances, accountant’s fees can vary widely for the completion of a self assessment tax return.
Ask yourself these questions when you’re looking for someone to help you with your self assessment return;
Do I want the cheapest price? – This may not demonstrate the best value for you. The cheapest will often just put the numbers in the form and submit without consideration for the allowances available to you.
Are they regulated by a professional body? – Many people (including dave down the pub) will say that they can complete your tax return for you, but are they regulated and insured to do the job properly? Being regulated means they must do regular training and are governed by a code of ethics.
What is included in the price? – Are they just charging to complete the return based on your figures, or are they offering guidance and support throughout the year to help you make the right choices for your business?
Do they outsource your self assessment return? – Are they cheap because they’re outsourcing to cheaper countries and just taking a cut of the fee? Consider who you want seeing your personal information. We never outsource, and our tax returns are completed in-house by our trained, regulated and insured team.
Read our accounting blog here.
Why choose us for self assessment support?
As a business owner, it’s important that you understand what requirements the HMRC expect you to follow, including the deadlines you need to be aware of.
Without keeping tidy records and being timely with your reporting, self assessment can end up being something you put off doing, and then are stung with a bill you were under prepared for.
At Freedom in Numbers, we’re here to support your business, and take away the stress of the administrative side of business, giving you your freedom back.
Our bespoke bookkeeping services are tailored to your business, and flex to fit the activity of your business.
We offer a monthly fixed fee service that it tailored to your business and will include all the services you’ll need to get started, including dealing with the HMRC on your behalf!
We will save you time and money.
We’re confident that you’ll love our brilliant customer service and have an excellent experience working with us.