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Accounts Geek

2021-2022 Self Assessment
Tax Return Quick Guide

Here at Accounts Geek, we help you get ahead of tax without the hassle. We can help prepare and submit your tax return to HMRC on your behalf. 

Do I need a Self Assessment accountant?

The general answer is no. It is possible to do your tax return yourself, but the tax industry is notoriously complicated and penalties for making mistakes can be steep. As a general rule, the more simple your tax return, the easier it is to do it correctly on your own.

Whilst you may be more than capable of doing your own Self Assessment tax return in most circumstances, there are times when an accountant will be worth their weight in gold. For example, an accountant can:

  • help minimise your tax bill, by helping you claim all the relevant allowable expense you’ve incurred 
  • check your bookkeeping, ensuring that all sales and expenditure have been identified correctly 
  • bring peace of mind knowing you are doing things correctly

Do I need to file a tax return?

Before anything else though, work out why you need to file:

  • You’re a landlord earning rental income
  • You earn over £100,000
  • You’re self-employed
  • You have side-gigs alongside your full-time job
  • You’re an investor with profits that exceed the tax-free allowances
  • You earn over £50,270 and want to claim additional pension relief

What is Self Assessment?

Self Assessment is basically the way that you declare and pay your taxes to HMRC. You tell them about your untaxed income and they calculate the bill you owe.

You can file your Self Assessment online or by paper; for speed and ease, we’d recommend online.

How do I complete a Self Assessment online?

This is markedly easier. The online tax Self Assessment deadline is not only later than the paper one, but you don’t have to navigate piles of paper admin. So, project file Self Assessment: where do you start?

We’d recommend getting all your income and expenses onto a spreadsheet so you can work quickly with your totals. If you don’t already have a UTR number, register for Self Assessment ASAP because you won’t be able to file without one.

From here, you can log into HMRC online with your government gateway ID and go through their online form. 

But how do I do the Self Assessment tax return?

This depends on what type of tax return you need to do, and whether it’s online or on paper. Also, the more reliefs you’re claiming and the more complicated your return, the harder it can be to do it on your own.

If you’re self-employed and become pregnant, for instance, you may start claiming the Maternity Allowance which will affect the calculations on your tax return.

The margin for error is slim with HMRC. Getting Self Assessment help may well be worthwhile – but we would say that as a fine purveyor of the Self Assessment tax return online, right?

When do I do the return?

There are two dates to bear in mind.

If you’ve never done your tax return before, you will need to register for Self Assessment first. This is how HMRC knows that you are earning untaxed income. You should do this by 5th October in any given year.

When it comes to paying your tax return, the Self Assessment deadline is 31st January the year after the tax year you’re paying for. If you’re paying your 2021/2022 tax return, this should be paid by 31st January 2023.

Make sure that you do this on time. Doing either of these things late will incur penalties.

How to pay your Self Assessment Tax bill

Paying your tax bill is simple. Make sure you do this by the Self Assessment tax return deadline on 31st January. You can pay by Direct Debit, by bank transfer, with a paying-in slip, with your debit card, or by cheque.

How we can help you

We do not just do your self-assessment tax return; our qualified accountants will provide you with the necessary advice and guidance on how to minimise your tax liability. This is because we believe in providing a value-add service, not just number crunching.

Tax reliefs for landlords

If you’re a landlord, there are a few things to consider when you do your tax return:

  • Do you live in the property that you’re renting out?
  • Do you own the property you’re renting out?
  • How many properties do you have?

If you’re only renting a room in the property you own, you’re covered by the Rent-a-Room scheme. You can earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free. Anything over that you’ll pay Income Tax on.

If you don’t live in the property, you can claim the Property Income Allowance which gives you £1,000 of your rental income tax-free. You can also claim a 20% tax relief on mortgage interest. If you’re using the Rent2Rent scheme, the same rules apply as if you owned the property.

Tax reliefs for self-employed work

If you’re self-employed, you only pay tax on income over the £12,570 Personal Allowance. You are also allowed to deduct your business expenses from your earnings.

If you do side gigs alongside your full-time job, you can make the most of the Trading Allowance which allows you to earn up to £1,000 additional income, tax-free. Beyond this, you must do a tax return at the usual rates of Income Tax and National Insurance.

If you earn over £100,000

When you earn over £100,000, you’re classed as a high earner. Therefore, even though you pay your taxes through your salary, HMRC needs to check your income to ensure that you’re paying the correct amount of tax. To do this, you need to do a tax return.

If you're an investor

To pay tax on your profits, you should pay attention to Capital Gains Tax rates. The Capital Gains Tax Allowance in the 2021/22 tax year is £12,300. This means that any profits earned that are less than this are tax-free.

There are other factors that affect the tax you owe on any investment profits, such as carrying forward losses, but it can all get a little bit complicated.

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