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10% off Self Assessment this July. Just <s>169</s> £152.

I need Self Assessment help!

  • 3 min read
  • 22 Nov 2021

When you do your first tax return, getting Self Assessment help is vital. The world of tax can be very complicated, especially if you’re new to it.

Since 2015, the number of fines for tax returns being filed late has risen every year for three years. For tax returns filed more than 30 days late, HMRC fined 283,000 people; in 2016, HMRC fined 291,000 people; in 2017, HMRC fined 331,000 people. 

And what with the financial strain that the pandemic has caused, it seems likely that these numbers will continue to rise.

So, how can we sort this?

First of all, preparation is key. The more you know about the penalties that you might be liable to pay, the less likely it is that you’ll end up in a situation of having to pay them.

Otherwise, there are three things to bear in mind:

  1. Submit your Self Assessment online by 5th October
  2. File and pay your tax return by 31st January
  3. Know how much you need to pay on top if you don’t do it on time

This is what you’ll be charged for being late on any of the above, not including interest (which currently in April 2024 sits at 5.25%):

  • Submitting your Self Assessment
    • 1 day – 3 months late ➡️ £100 flat fee
    • 3 – 6 months late ➡️ £10 per day
    • 6 – 12 months ➡️ £300 flat fee or 5% of your bill (whichever is more)
    • >12 months ➡️ £300 flat fee or 5% of your bill (whichever is more)
  • Paying late
    • 1 – 30 days late ➡️ no penalty
    • 30 days – 6 months late ➡️ 5% of your tax bill
    • 6 – 12 months ➡️ 10% of you tax bill
    • >12 months ➡️ 15% of your tax bill

Although this probably looks daunting, keep in mind that if you have a reasonable excuse for not paying your tax return on time, HMRC will be lenient. But your excuse needs to be reasonable – take a look at a few excuses that HMRC will not accept…

Now for the Self Assessment help?

Let’s start with the basics. What is your Self Assessment?

It’s the way that you declare your untaxed income to HMRC. Just head over to HMRC and fill in a few details about your income. And this includes everything:

  • Full-time salaried job
  • Side gigs
  • Self-employed income
  • Rental income
  • Investments – e.g. in cryptocurrency, shares, property

And this must be done by 5th October of the same year the tax year ends. If you work during the 2023/24 tax year, it ends on 5th April 2024 – and you must register for Self Assessment by 5th October 2024 and pay by 31st January 2025.

After doing your Self Assessment, you’ll be sent what’s known as a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. You’ll then use this information to pay your tax bill. Some businesses (especially those in the financial space) will ask you for it before you’re able to work with them.

But how do I do my Self Assessment?

There are a few options: 

  1. Do it yourself on HMRC’s website – for free, although it’s not super easy to understand how to use it
  2. Find an accountant and pay them to help you – pricey, but at least it’s out of your hands
  3. Give TaxScouts a go
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