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A brief guide to tax returns for individuals

The final deadline for submitting online tax returns is approaching (31 January) and any business that fails to meet the deadline will face fines. As an individual, you must send a tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if, in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April), you were: self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000; or a partner in a business partnership. The deadline for paying taxes owed is also 31 January though there’s an additional deadline of 31 July if you make advance payments towards your bill.

Please note that you may also need to send a tax return if you have any other untaxed income, such as: money from renting out a property; tips and commissions; income from savings, investments and dividends; foreign income. If you are unsure whether you need to submit a return, you can use this tool to check. 

You will need business documents and financial records to fill in your return, including:

  • Employment Income
  • Rental Income
  • Savings Income
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Self-Employment Income
  • Capital Gains

Getting help

Tax returns and payments are often left to the last minute, and can be daunting for professionals who are experts in their business area but unfamiliar with accounting methods and procedures. However, it is a legal responsibility that must be taken seriously, not least because of the additional charges the business may incur following a late submission. 

At BW Accounting Solutions, we can submit tax returns on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about meeting deadlines. Our cloud accounting software allows you to easily upload new information so that your records are up to date all year round, avoiding the need to gather receipts and invoices while filling out returns. We can also save you time by advising you on the data needed for tax returns, as well as tax criteria and regulations which are relevant for your business. 

It’s not too late to seek professional accounting advice for your tax return! You can find our full contact details here. 

Useful Links

Get Prepared: Self Assessment for 2020-21

If you have never submitted a tax return online, you have until October to register for Self Assessment online. When you register, HMRC will send you a letter with your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and set up your account for the Self Assessment online service. You will also receive a letter with your online activation code. Once you’ve registered, you can send your tax return online and your tax is calculated automatically; you must subsequently pay your tax bill before the deadline. 

There is also a range of commercial software available which can simplify the process of gathering the required information, and which can submit forms digitally to HMRC. If you prefer to file your return physically, you must download and print a SA100 form which you can then send to HMRC. The deadline for paper returns is three months earlier: 31 October (trustees of a registered pension scheme or non-resident companies are eligible for the January deadline).

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