Do I Need to Register for Self-Assessment?

Do I Need to Register for Self-Assessment?

by Mohamed at Taxfile.

In today’s guide, we look at the rules around whether or not you need to register for Self-Assessment and submit a tax return to HMRC each year. Let’s take a look.

Reasons to Register for Self-Assessment

You generally need to register for a Self-Assessment tax return if your income isn’t taxed at the source, meaning the tax isn’t automatically deducted from your wages/salary. Here are some common scenarios where you would need to register for self-assessment:

  • You are self-employed — sole traders, freelancers, and consultants typically fall under this category.
  • You receive rental income — if you earn income from renting out a property, you need to register.
  • You have a high income — employees earning over £100,000 per year need to register as their tax calculations may become more complex. (From 2023-24 you are only required to register if your income is above £150,000).
  • You have other income sources — this includes income from abroad, dividends, and partnership profits.

If you are still unsure about registration, please contact HMRC or call Taxfile on 0208 761 8000.

Registering for UK Taxes is Important

Registering for UK taxes is important for a few reasons, as we’ll explain below.

Firstly, it helps you avoid penalties. If you don’t register for Self-Assessment when required, you could face penalties from HMRC. These can be significant, especially if you’ve been earning income for a while without registering.

Secondly, it helps to ensure accurate tax payments. By registering and filing a Self-Assessment tax return, you ensure you’re paying the correct amount of tax. Without it, you might underpay and owe interest, or overpay and have to wait for a refund.

Thirdly, it helps you stay legally compliant. In severe cases, failing to register and pay your taxes can lead to legal action, including prosecution.

Registering also helps you maintain good standing with the Government. Being registered with HMRC shows you’re taking your tax obligations seriously. This can also be important if you’re applying for credit, a mortgage, or a visa.

Do Directors Need to Do a Self-Assessment?

Not all directors need to do a Self-Assessment tax return, but some do. Here’s a breakdown:

Directors with only PAYE income

If your only income from the company is through PAYE (Pay as You Earn), where tax is deducted at source, you generally don’t need to do a Self-Assessment.

Directors with additional income

If you have any other taxable income besides your salary, like dividends, company benefits, or income from another job, you likely do need to do a Self-Assessment tax return in order to report it.

However, even if you aren’t required to register, HMRC might still ask you to file a Self-Assessment return.

Learn more about director self-assessment here.

Why is Payroll Important for a Director?

Payroll ensures compliance with tax regulations. Directors are considered employees for tax purposes, and PAYE is the system used to collect Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from their salary. Running payroll ensures these deductions are made and reported correctly to HMRC.

Payroll creates a clear and accurate record of your director’s salary payments. This is important for tax purposes, but also for things like calculating benefits and pension contributions that might be tied to salary.

Being on payroll allows directors to qualify for certain benefits they wouldn’t get if paid through dividends alone. These can include enrolling in a company pension scheme and accruing National Insurance credits that contribute to your state pension.

Payroll ensures transparency by helping to maintain a clear separation between personal finances and the company’s finances. This is important for legal and accounting reasons.

While there might be tax advantages to structuring some of your director’s income as dividends, payroll remains a vital part of ensuring you’re following regulations and have a clear record of your director’s overall compensation.

Learn more about how to pay yourself as a director here.

Late with your tax return and tax payment? What happens now?

Missed the Tax Return Deadline? What Happens Now?

Missed the Tax Return Deadline? What Happens Now?

[February 2024]: If you missed the deadline to submit your self-assessment tax return, the first thing to know is that you are now into the penalty stage. HMRC applies an automatic £100 penalty to those who are even 1 day late (the deadline was 11.59pm on 31st January) and further penalties are added if you take even longer to comply. It’s worse, of course, if you also haven’t paid any tax owed as you’ll then owe interest too, so our advice is to pay as much as you can as soon as possible, so you’ll reduce any element of interest. However, if you “took reasonable care to meet” a deadline and there is a genuine reason why you were late, you have the option to appeal if your circumstances fit eligible criteria. Let’s take a look …

Circumstances that are taken into account by HMRC when considering appeals include:

  • if a close relative or partner died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline;
  • if you had to stay in hospital unexpectedly;
  • if you had a life-threatening or serious illness;
  • if your computer or software failed at the time you were preparing your online return;
  • if HMRC’s online services were disrupted;
  • if you were prevented from filing your return or paying your tax because of a fire, flood or theft;
  • if there were unexpected postal delays;
  • if you have a disability of mental illness that affected the delay;
  • if you misunderstood your legal obligation, or were unaware of it;
  • if someone you’d appointed for the task (e.g. accountant or tax adviser) failed in their obligation on your behalf;
  • and occasionally other reasons which, if genuine, HMRC may deem to be relevant (for example, some Covid-related circumstances).

Excuses that aren’t usually accepted by HMRC include:

  • you didn’t receive a reminder from HMRC;
  • you found HMRC’s online system too difficult to use;
  • your cheque bounced or payment failed due to you having insufficient funds;
  • you made an error on your return.

Appealing Against an HMRC Penalty

You do have the right to appeal against HMRC’s decision to issue you a penalty, for example due to a tax return — or the actual tax — being paid late. Taxfile can help advise you about that (see below).

Taxfile are Here to Help

So, if your tax return is late, you owe HMRC tax or are owed a refund by them, come and see us as soon as possible at Taxfile — we’re accountants and tax advisors in Tulse Hill, South London. We’ll help to sort it all out for you with the minimum of fuss, at a competitive price. Come in as early in the month as you can and we’ll help you to sort things out — for the best possible outcome. We know the rules and liaise with HMRC every single day on behalf of our clients, so if we can help convince HMRC to reduce or completely remove any penalty you may be facing, we will do so, so long as your circumstances fit the relevant HMRC criteria. You can only appeal within 30 days of the date of any penalty notice you receive, so the earlier the better – give us a call on 0208 761 8000 or fill in the short form here and we’ll take it from there. Alternatively, book an appointment with one of our expert tax advisors to chat things over, without obligation. Payment plans called ‘Time to Pay’ arrangements may also be available for eligible people who cannot to afford to pay their tax in one lump sum — Taxfile would be happy to tell you more.

020 8761 8000 Book Appointment Get Started Here
Final day to submit your Self-Assessment tax return

Today is the Tax Return Deadline!

TODAY is the Self-Assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 31 January 2024]: The 31st January is THE FINAL DEADLINE by which you need to file your Self Assessment tax return with HMRC. If you miss(ed) that deadline (11.59pm on 31st), you risk a £100 HMRC fine right away plus other significant penalties thereafter. Interest will also be charged from 1 February if tax is not paid by midnight on 31 January (rules apply).

Time is running out, so contact Taxfile for help with your tax return as soon as possible please. Book an appointment* with one of our helpful tax advisors and accountancy experts TODAY and we’ll make filling in and submitting your tax return simple!

020 8761 8000 Book Appointment Get Started Here

We’ll make filling in and submitting your tax return easy!

Don’t leave it to the last minute as there is always a bottleneck — come in as soon as you can, please, for professional help with filing of your tax return. We’ll require your records and figures for the financial year 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 unless you have a different accounting period. Plus any previous years not yet submitted, if applicable.

* As well as a face-to-face meeting, we can do a ‘virtual’ meeting with you, for example using Zoom video, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts — or whatever suits you best.

It doesn’t matter if you have zero tax to pay – you still need to submit your tax return.

020 8761 8000 Book Appointment Get Started Here

* Please note: in busy times like January, a deposit may be required before appointments commence.

Taxfile is Open on Sunday Mornings in January — Perfect for 2022-23 Tax Returns

We’re Open on Sunday Mornings in January — Perfect for 2022-23 Tax Returns

Taxfile is Open on Sunday Mornings in January — Perfect for 2022-23 Tax Returns

With the self-assessment tax return deadline almost upon us, we are opening our Tulse Hill office* on Sunday mornings, 9 am to 1 pm, for the remainder of January. That’s as well as the previously announced Saturday morning opening during the same hours. It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss your tax return with us or bring in figures and records without having to disturb your working week. Weekend time slots are limited, though, so please book a free 20-minute appointment as soon as possible if you’d like to visit.

020 8761 8000 Book Appointment Tax Return Help
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Information You Need to Supply for Professional Help with Your Tax Return

Information You Need to Supply for Professional Help with Your Tax Return

Information You Need to Supply for Professional Help with Your Tax Return

If you’re self-employed in the UK, you need to file a self-assessment tax return each year. It’s not only the self-employed, though. If you are on a higher income* or receive untaxed income from property rental, savings, investments, or dividends, you also have to submit a return. Getting all the fields filled in properly and the figures right can sometimes be difficult, though. That’s where professional help will be worth its weight in gold. But what information will your accountant or tax advisor need from you? That’s what today’s post is all about, and we’ll explain exactly what information you’ll need to supply.

* (Those earning more than £100,000 currently, or over £150,000 from next year). Read more

Basis Reform and Spreading

Basis Reform and Spreading

Basis Period Reform and Spreading of Tax Over Multiple Years
As of April 6, 2023, the Self-Assessment (SA) for income tax has undergone a significant transformation, known as Basis Period Reform.  This change aims to align the taxation of business profits with the standard April-April tax year, rather than any other accounting periods that may have been required by the taxpayer.

While the transition to the new basis period has introduced certain complexities, it also presents opportunities for businesses to manage their tax liabilities more effectively. One such opportunity lies in the spreading of tax arising from transitional profits.

Transitional profits refer to the profits that arise from the transition between the old and new basis periods. These profits can be spread over Read more

Saturday Appointments in December - Book Now for Tax Returns Etc.

Saturday Appointments in January – Book Now for Tax Returns Etc.

Saturday Appointments Available in January - Book Now for Tax Returns Etc.

Taxfile is open on Saturday mornings in January, by appointment. Saturdays might be useful if you need to see us for your 2022/23 tax return, or any other accountancy work, but can’t do it on a weekday. Saturday slots are limited; there are only 4 Saturdays available in January and opening times will be from 9am until 1pm. So, please book in today if a weekend appointment suits you — before slots are all taken. Late appointments are also available on Mondays, when we open until 6pm, or choose any other weekday if you can come earlier. Please see the footer of our website for latest opening times.

Book in on 0208 761 8000 or book your appointment online (here). We are happy to do virtual (video/phone) or physical appointments at our Tulse Hill office in Thurlow Park Road — whichever suits you best. Read more

Understanding Basis Period Reform for Self-Assessment Tax in the UK

Understanding Basis Period Reform for Self-Assessment Tax in the UK

 

Understanding Basis Period Reform for Self-Assessment Tax in the UK

Are you a sole trader or in a partnership? 

Do you have different accounting dates from the standard 6th of April to the 5th of Apri?

If you answered YES to both questions, some IMPORTANT changes will apply for the tax year 2023-24.

The concept of the basis period determines the time frame used to calculate taxable profits or losses for self-employed individuals, partnerships, and some trusts.  It marks a departure from the traditional “current year” basis, where business profits were taxed based on the accounting period ending within the tax year. Instead, it introduces a “tax year” basis, aligning taxable profits with the UK’s standard tax year, running from 6 April to 5 April. Read more

TODAY is the deadline for submission of your tax return. Contact Taxfile for help filing & avoid a minimum £100 fine!

31st January was the Self Assessment Tax Return Deadline!

Today (31 January) is the self-assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 1 February 2023]: The 31st January was the Self Assessment tax return and tax payment deadline. Miss the deadline and you’ll be in for a £100 HMRC fine right away. Interest will also be charged from 1 February, as usual, if tax is not paid by midnight on 31 January (rules apply). Time is short, so contact Taxfile for help with your tax return as soon as possible please. Book an appointment* with one of our helpful tax advisors and accountancy experts TODAY — we’ll make it easy!

020 8761 8000 Book Appointment Get Started Here
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