If you’re a freelancer or contractor then it is time to start completing your tax return. With the 31st January being the cut off date you really need to start completing your forms now. You’ll need to dig out your invoices, go through your expenses and put together a list of details so that you can tell the HMRC how much you owe them.
Although the self assessment process has been made as simple as possible, it can still be complicated if you have never completed one of these before. You might want to hire an accountant to help you with this if you’re brand new to it and want a little guidance.
First of all you’re going to need to register with the HMRC. If allows them to know that you are self employed and that they should expect a tax return from you. To register you’ll need your national insurance number, your personal details and those of your business. Although tax returns need to be submitted by the 31st January you need to make sure that you have registered with the HMRC by the 5th October of the year before. You can face fines if you do not do this so make sure you get everything together in a timely manner.
It is important that you keep track of your income and expenses throughout the year. If you don’t keep track of these as the year goes on then it will be really hard to piece everything together by the time self assessment deadlines come around.
The self assessment website has a number of guides that can help when it comes to filling in forms that you need to. You’ll need to declare things like pension contributions, gift aid donations and much more when you fill in your form.
Although this can all seem confusing, it doesn’t need to be. There are different specialist accountants that can help you with the whole process, so it could be beneficial to get one of these on board rather than trying to go it alone.