Tax returns Self-employed tax return
Self-employed tax return explained
If you are self-employed you have to fill in a self-assessment tax return each year. HMRC should notify you in April and ask you complete a paper tax return or make an online tax return.
In order to make an accurate tax return, you are expected to keep records, which you may need to produce if your tax return is queried. These should include details of all your sales and takings and a record of your purchases and business expenses. You should keep your records for a minimum of six years.
Before you complete a tax return you will need to register for self-assessment. You can do this online. Once you have registered, HMRC will issue you with a ten-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.
If you need help filling out a tax returns, our qualified experts on the Which? Money Helpline can guide you through it. Sign up to Which? for just £1 and speak to one of our experts.
Self-employed tax return - paper returns
If you want to send a paper tax return, you need to complete the main return (SA 100) and also some supplementary pages. Supplementary pages are for declaring details of your:
- income from self-employment (SA 103S or SA 103F)
- employment income (SA102)
- income from UK property (SA 105)
- other income and gains
The supplementary pages you need depend on your business turnover. Below £73,000 use SA 103S, above £73,000 use SA 103F. HMRC Helpsheets are provided for supplementary pages.
The deadline to submit a paper self-assessment tax return for 2012/13 is 31 October 2013.
Self-employed tax return - online returns
If you submit an online tax return, you can select the pages you need as you complete it. To make an online tax return you need to register in advance and receive an activation code (pin) through the post.
Sole traders and most other self-employed people can submit a self-assessment tax return online without any problem, but a Partnership Tax Return (SA 800) can only be sent online in conjunction with specially developed commercial software.
The deadline to submit an online self-assessment tax return for 2012-13 is 31 January 2014.