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Understanding Self Assessment tax returns

The vast majority of people in the UK pay all of the tax they owe via the PAYE system, but more and more are paying their taxes – or a proportion of their taxes – via the Self Assessment system; this is because more people are working for themselves, running businesses, or have another form of income that is not taxed at the source.

Anyone who falls into those categories must register for Self Assessment and file the relevant tax return. The easiest way to do so is to ask an accountant to do it for you, as they can explain the Self Assessment system and how it works. This is the best way to ensure you follow the rules, avoiding mistakes that could cause you problems with the tax authorities. However, if you already understand the system, you can just sign into the website and follow the links listed there to register.

You can download the Self Assessment forms you need from the Internet. There are five different versions, so it is important that you download and use the right one.

Individuals, including the self-employed, need to use form SA100. For a partnership, the SA800 form should be used, while trusts and estates need to use the SA900 tax form. Non-resident companies need to use the SA700 form and the trustees of registered pension schemes need to use the SA970 form.

If you submit your tax return by post, the forms have to be with HMRC by 31st October of each year. Those who submit their Self Assessment forms online have up until 31st January to do it.

Trustees of registered pension schemes and non-resident companies are not allowed to file an online Self Assessment tax return. They also have until 31st January to submit their tax return via the post.

Posted by Louise
January 13, 2015

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