With the end of the year approaching, you will be wary of the deadline for completing your self-assessment tax returns. There’s no need to panic, as you still have until 31st January to submit your returns for the previous tax year if filing online. This can be a time-consuming process, so it’s worth knowing the steps involved and how a professional could support you in completing this. Allow us to explain the information you’ll need and how you go about filling out your self-assessment tax returns.

What is self-assessment?

In simple terms, self-assessment is how you inform HMRC of how much money you have earned over the previous tax year, with other important details about your financial circumstances. This helps them calculate how much tax and National Insurance you are eligible to pay. This is typically done online, although some businesses file paper returns. You can hire an accountant to complete your self-assessment returns, as they can complete it accurately and minimise the amount of tax you must pay.

What do I need to complete a self-assessment tax form?

If you have never completed a tax return form before, this is all completed through the government website, and numerous forms are required to be completed, which can make it a time-consuming process. There are some important details you will need, which include:

  • A ten-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Information relating to untaxed income from the year, which includes self-employment income, dividends and interest earned on shares
  • Records of self-employed expenses
  • Charity or pension contributions that could involve tax-relief
  • A P60 or any other relevant documentation that shows how much tax you have already paid on your income

Benefits of using an accountant for self-assessment tax returns

With so many different documents and pieces of paperwork required to complete your self-assessment tax returns, many sole traders and small business owners use the services of an accountant to make this process more straightforward. Find out how an accountant can help you:

  • It can take you a while to familiarise yourself with the tax system and how it works, whereas a qualified accountant will have an immediate understanding of all the ins and outs. They will understand the system, so you don’t have need to worry about the technicalities.
  • They can also help to avoid mistakes when submitting your tax returns. If you are unfamiliar with all the forms that need completing and information required, you could miss out important details and make costly mistakes which may make you liable to pay a fine. An accountant will make sure that all important documentation is included.
  • With tax legislation changing on a regular basis, it can be difficult to keep up with and hard to tell what applies to you and what doesn’t. A competent accountant will be constantly studying new legislation and making sure that they file your self-assessment tax returns to follow these guidelines.

The deadline to pay your tax bill is 31st January for you first payment on account of any tax owed for the previous year, and 31st of July for your second payment on account. You have plenty of time to submit these documents, but to ensure complete accuracy of your tax returns, why not consult a professional?

Our team at Omer & Company can help with this. We can provide our advice and support to you throughout the process, even managing and submitting your business and personal tax returns on your behalf. Speak to our team to find out how we can help. Call 020 8850 0700 or email info@omeraccountants.co.uk so that we can discuss your requirements.