How to complete your Personal Tax Return| Sole Trader or Limited Company-Which is Best

What is the filing date for my self-assessment tax return?

The deadline for paper returns is 31st October after the end of the tax year. After this date, returns are subject to late filing penalty rules. There are two exceptions:

1. Certain people are 'excepted' from this deadline and will be notified by HMRC. Their deadline is 31st January after the end of the tax year.
2. Certain items cannot be accepted by HMRC's online systems. The TaxCalc program can advise you on this; on these occasions the deadline will again be 31st January after the end of the tax year.

The deadline for online returns is 31st January after the end of the tax year.

Why should I complete my tax return online?

By completing your tax return online, you can tailor it to your needs and only complete the pages you need. Selftax will give you full online support as you work through it and your tax will be calculated automatically. You also have longer to file your tax returns – instead of 31 October, you have until 31 January. To file your tax return online, you must register with HMRC.

How do I get register with HMRC for online filing?

You will need your Unique Tax Reference (UTR), which is 10 digits long and printed on all correspondence from HMRC, as well as either your postcode or your national insurance (NI) number. With these, simply go to, under ‘Do it online’ on the left, click ‘Register (new users)’, click 'individuals & employees', and finally click 'self assessment' on the left under 'do it online'.

How do I get a confirmation email from HMRC?

Simply provide HMRC with a valid email address when filling in your tax return. You can check that your email address is correct by logging onto the online service and checking the 'About You' section. If you are using the free HMRC service, also be sure to enter your email address in the 'Tell Us About' section when completing your tax return.

I am experiencing delayed updates on the HMRC website.

This occasionally happens – the ‘submission finished successfully’ you will receive on filing a return is 'proof of filing'. If in any doubt you should inform HMRC through their help desk, which can be reached on 0845 60 55 999.

What can I do on the HMRC website?

Once you have applied for the Self Assessment Service, you will be able to view payments made, pay tax via Direct Debit, claim any repayments you think you are owed, make claims, change your personal details, add or remove an accountant or tax adviser – an 'agent' – and contact HMRC with additional questions.

What is Self Assessment?

Self Assessment is the completion of a tax return form showing your income and capital gains, and claiming tax allowances or relief. If you have straightforward tax affairs and pay all your tax as you earn (PAYE), you may not need to file a tax return. However, if you are self-employed, a minister of any religion, a company director or trustee, receiving foreign income or have more complicated tax affairs, you will need to file tax returns.

In what circumstances should I register for Self Assessment?

Certain changes of circumstance may require you to register for Self Assessment. These include starting a business; receiving untaxed income from property or investments; claiming expenses over £2,500; paying Capital Gains Tax; and when you or your partner receives Child Benefit with an income over £50,000. You should register such changes immediately, and no later than 5 October after the end of the tax year in question.

When should I pay Self Assessment/Capital Gains Tax?

You must pay any tax owed by 31 January after the end of the tax year. This is the same for both online and paper tax returns, and has few exceptions. You may also have to pay the first of two 'payments on account' towards your next tax bill. On 31 July, you may have to pay the second of these two 'payments on account'.

What do I do if I can't pay the tax bill?

Do not ignore it. If the tax requested is wrong due to an error on your Self Assessment tax return, you can correct this. If you cannot pay the tax straight away, you may be able to organise a later payment date.

When will my Child Benefit affect the tax I have to pay?

If you have an individual income of over £50,000, you could have to pay a High Income Child Benefit charge.

How do I reclaim tax I've overpaid through my job?

If you have multiple jobs or regularly change jobs, you may be able to apply for a tax refund if you work during holidays as a student, have been on an emergency tax code, have multiple jobs at once, other sources of income have reduced in value since you informed HMRC of time, your circumstances changed or you were made redundant. For a full comprehensive list of situations, contact HMRC or check their website.

What do I do when I change my name and/or address?

Even if you earn PAYE and have told your employer or pension provider, you should let HMRC know about any change of name and/or address. The easiest way to do this is to send them an email through the HMRC website.

What do I do if I think my tax code is wrong?

If you have made a mistake or missed something from you tax return, you can generally amend it. You can correct this mistake up to 31 January of your next tax year. If you received your return late, and only in this circumstance, you may be issued with an alternative date by which to notify HMRC. You can also amend your tax returns online, by going to the 'At a glance' page on the HMRC website.

What do I do if I am closing or selling a business?

As soon as possible, let HMRC know of your change in circumstance and they will help you to get your tax affairs in order. You may be able to negotiate a later repayment date or occasionally claim some tax back.

What attachments can I send with my tax return?

Using attachments, you can send copies of accounts, calculations, an election (for Capital Gains Tax) and other supporting information.

What should I do if there is not enough space on the tax return form?

If you run out of space, complete all but the last rows as normal and add together any remaining items on the last row. Show the overall total in the total box, if there is one, and use an attachment or any other available space to provide full details of the combined entries.