Before you get started it’s easiest to gather together all of the relevant information and documents you’ll need. Having everything in one place will make the whole process much easier and save you a lot of time and stress.
The whole point of doing your self-assessment tax return is to figure out what your tax bill is going to be (that includes both tax and national insurance), and when to pay the tax. Even though the deadline for paying the tax is 31 January, so you can file your tax return way before that and pay the tax you owe at any point up to that date. It’s also important to remember that if you have a tax bill over a certain amount, you may need to make payments on account in July and January for tax you owe.
To do your tax return and figure out your tax bill you’ll need to gather:
- Details of your self employed income
- Details of your self employed allowable expenses
- Sales invoices
- Bank statements
- Purchase invoices
- Any P60s from employment income
- Details of property income and expenses
- Details of tax reliefs like charitable contributions
- P60s from other income like pension income
- Details of bank interest received
- Details of any dividend income you have received
- Anything else you think might be relevant
Once you have all of that information, separate it into sections – e.g. self-employed income tax, PAYE income, property income and so on, and then handle each section at a time.
Items like employment income are easy to deal with – you’ll just need to take the figures from your P60 and put them into the HMRC online filing system, or the correct part of your chosen software.
Likewise with other sorts of income and expenses – you just need to find the correct part of the form and put the figures in from your paperwork.
The self-employed part of the tax return is the trickiest bit because you’ll need to understand how to calculate your taxable profit.