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TaxScouts tax return: a step-by-step guide

  • 5 min read
  • 22 Jan 2021
How TaxScouts works: step by step

Hey there. If you’re here, you must be wondering what all the hype is about. How much easier could TaxScouts really be than doing your tax return yourself? Well that all depends on how complicated your tax return is. If you’re filing for some self-employed income from a single source and you owe less than £100, then yes. You could definitely do your tax return yourself. But do you want to?

An important factor that you should weigh up is whether or not you know what you’re doing. The margin for error can be pretty wide when it comes to HMRC. And the penalties for getting it wrong are not something you need in your life. 

What’s the idea?

Basically, we’ll do your tax return for a flat fee of £169. And when we say ‘we’, we of course mean one of our accredited accountants. They’ll ask for evidence of your income and expenses, and then they will sort out the rest. Once they’re done, they will let you know how much you owe. Then you can check everything, make sure it all looks right, then get it paid and sent. It couldn’t be simpler!

What if I’m not sure?

If you’re not into signing up to something until you’re 100% that you want to use it, that’s fine. Caution is king, right? You can dip your toe in by getting in touch with our support team. They’re available all through the week to answer any questions you might have. 

Catch them on the live chat via our homepage or on [email protected].

So, how does it work?

Follow this step-by-step guide for a glimpse of the process.

1. Sign up

Go to the TaxScouts homepage and sign up by clicking “Get Started” in the top right-hand corner of the page. 

2. Enter your details

At this point, we need your full name, email and a password (which you’ll create) to set up your TaxScouts account login.

3. Welcome!

You’ll get an email through to the email that you entered. It’s just an FYI so you won’t need to take any action when it arrives. 

4. Choose your tax year

You pay tax based on your earnings between 6th April one year to 5th April the following year. This is known as the tax year. In the blue box on the page, you’ll be asked whether you’re filing a tax return for the most recent tax year (e.g. 2023/24 tax year) or earlier. 

If you’re filing for an earlier tax year, just click on “Need to file for an earlier tax year?” in the bottom left underneath the blue box. You can file up to 7 years previous with TaxScouts – and you can do them all at once. Just be aware that it’s £169 per tax return, so if you have to file multiple returns, you’ll pay £169 for each.

5. Why are you filing? 

You’ll see a grid of 9 boxes, each with reasons to file a tax return:

  • I earned income by self-employment
  • I’m claiming a tax relief or refund
  • I earned income from property
  • I earned dividends or interest
  • I’m a director of a company
  • I earned capital gains
  • HMRC sent me a letter and told me to
  • I have other reasons

Click on the boxes that are relevant. If you click “I have other reasons”, you’ll be asked to give a few details to give our accountants some context. And the same if you’re self-employed, you’ll be asked about your work (e.g. CIS worker, freelancer etc.)

6. What income did you earn?

You’ll see a list with different types of income. Select from the list how you earned income during the tax year you’re paying for. And don’t forget to select all the different ways that you earned. So if you earned money from rental income, self-employed income and shares, you should select all three. 

7. Tell us what you earned

Enter an estimate of how much you earned during the tax year you’re paying for. If you’re not sure, that’s fine. Just click “Not sure”. We’ll ask you for some documents confirming the exact amount a little later. 

Be aware though that if you earned less than £1,000, you won’t have to do a tax return. 

8. Expenses

You’ll be asked whether your expenses were more or less than £1,000 during the tax year you’re paying for. Expenses are anything that you bought for your business, from laptops to marketing costs to visiting a client. 

We ask this because it determines whether or not you claim your first £1,000 of income tax-free, or whether you’ll deduct your expenses to reduce your tax bill instead.

If they were less than £1,000, you won’t need to show us any receipts. If they were more, select each to let us know what they are. 

9. Have you done a Self Assessment before?

We’ll need to know whether or not you’re a first timer. This is because if you’re doing a tax return to pay tax on self-employed income, we need to take into account what’s known as Payment on Account. This will affect how your bill is calculated.

Read more about how Payment on Account works

10. Tax reliefs

Once you’ve answered all the questions, you’ll be asked whether a few circumstances apply to you. Click on the ones that apply to you (if any), then click “Finish” in the bottom right-hand corner.

11. Hello accountant 👋🏻👋🏽👋🏿

Great! You’ve entered all the initial information we need. You’ll now be assigned an accredited accountant – and you’ve also reached the point of payment. From this point, you and your accountant will have a direct line and they’ll let you know exactly what they need to file your return.

12. Upload documents

Once you’ve paid, you’ll be asked to upload some documents that relate to how you earned income during the tax year. 

13. Let’s get started

You’ll finally be asked to accept our terms of engagement. Without doing this, your accountant will not be able to get started on your tax return. These terms basically tell your accountant that, yes, you agree for them to start on your return and that you agree to all the T&Cs. 

Make sure that you double check that you’ve done this. You’d be surprised by the number of users who forget and can’t get started!

Once you’re ready, just go to the top right-hand corner of the screen and click ‘Get Started’ to sign up.

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