The self-assessment tax return can look daunting to some people, and with the tax return deadline just around the corner (31st January) we have prepared the 2024 guide to file a tax return below;
Do I need to submit a Tax Return?
Firstly, who needs to submit a tax return? You must send a tax return to HMRC if in the last tax year (6th April – 5th April), if any of the following applied;
- You were self-employed as a ‘sole-trader’ and earned more than £1,000
- You were a partner in a business partnership
- You had a total taxable income of more than £100,000
- You had to pay the High-Income Child Benefit Charge
You may also need to send a tax return if you have any untaxed income, such as;
- Money from renting out a property
- Tips and commission
- Income from savings, investments and dividends
- Foreign income
How do I register for a Tax Return?
If you have never filed a tax return with HMRC before, firstly you will need to register for self- assessment. You can register online through the HMRC website, or via post, and once you have completed the registration, HMRC will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.
You will need your UTR number to file your self-assessment return, so please keep this handy before filing your return. HMRC should also send you a reminder letter or email telling you to complete a self-assessment tax return before it’s due.
What information do I need to put in my Tax Return?
Once you have registered for self-assessment and received your UTR number it will then be time to compile the information needed to put into your tax return. You will need to ensure you have the following to include in your return;
- Your ten-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
- Your National Insurance number
- Details of your untaxed income from the year, including income from self-employment, dividends and interest received from savings & share dealings.
- Details of any expenses relating to self-employment
- Any contributions to charities or pensions that might be eligible for tax relief
- P60 or other records showing how much income you have received that you’ve already paid tax on.
- Details of any benefits in kind received in employment (or form P11D)
How do I fill in a Tax Return?
There are two sections to a self-assessment tax return. The main section is the SA100, which deals with:
- Taxed and untaxed income in the form of dividends and interest
- Pension contributions
- Charitable donations
- Benefits, including State Pension, Child Benefit and Blind Person’s Allowance
If you have extra income to declare from self-employment, property or capital gains, you’ll need to fill in a supplementary page. If you’re:
- Self-employed, it’s page SA103
- Reporting property income, it’s page SA105
- Declaring capital gains, it’s page SA108
In these pages, you’ll need to report income from these sources that you haven’t paid tax on, and also declare any allowable expenses which will be deducted from your tax bill.
What dates do I need to remember?
You submit tax returns in arrears for tax years, not calendar years. For the 2022/23 tax year, the period of information needed will be between 6 th April 2022 to 5 th April 2023 – you would need to:
- Register for self-assessment by 5 th October 2023 if you’ve never submitted a return before
- Submit your return by midnight 31 st October 2023 if filing a paper tax return
- Submit your return by midnight 31 st January 2024 if filing online
If you fail to meet one or more of these deadlines, you might be charged a penalty fee and interest on late payments.
An automatic penalty of £100 is charged if your tax return is filed up to 3 months late, and this will increase further once those three months have passed – it is therefore important to get your tax return filed before 31 st January to avoid any penalties!
Direct Peak customers get prompted to send their information across to file their tax returns considerably sooner than the deadlines shown above – remember that despite filing a tax return earlier than the due date does not affect the payment due date, this gives Direct Peak customers peace of mind when it comes to knowing their tax bills in advance on when they fall due.
When do I pay my taxes due?
When you’ve submitted your self-assessment tax return, you’ll be told how much tax, and national insurance contributions you’ll need to pay. The deadline for payment is 31st January following the end of the tax year – for example the 2022/23 tax year is due for payment by 31st January 2024.
Unless your last self-assessment tax bill was less than £1,000, or you’ve already paid more than 80% of all the tax you owe, you’ll be asked to make ‘payments on account’ towards your next tax bill.
‘Payments on account’ are made up of two payments, each one is half of your previous year’s tax bill. They’re due by 31 January and 31 July.
For example, if your tax bill for 2020/21 was £1,500 – during the 2021/22 tax year, you’ll make two payments on account of £750 each. When you submit your 2021/22 tax return, these two payments are deducted from your tax bill.
So, if your 2021/22 tax bill was £3,000, £1,500 (two payments of £750 on account) will be deducted on 31 January and
31 July that year. And you’ll have to pay £1,500 as a balancing payment, plus an extra £1,500 as your first payment on account for the 2022/23 tax year.
If your tax bill is less, HMRC will send you a refund. If you know your tax bill will be lower, you can contact HMRC and ask for a reduction on your payments on account.
There are many ways to pay your Self-Assessment tax bill. But the length of time depends on which method you choose. If you’re making your payment close to the deadline day, choose one of the faster options to make sure you don’t get penalised.
The fastest ways to pay are:
- Online or telephone banking
- Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS)
- Debit or corporate credit card
- In person at your bank or building society
The 2024 Guide to Filing a Tax Return
If you have any questions or want to find out more about filing your tax return in 2024 get in contact with Direct Peak today and we will ensure that your return is filed well ahead of time, and that any taxes owed are calculated correctly and notify you of any payments due.