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Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Assessment for Sole Traders and Business Owners in the UK

Welcome to Hamollisons Bookkeeping Services' guide on how to tackle your Self-Assessment tax return. This step-by-step manual is designed for sole traders and business owners in the UK. Let's demystify the process and ensure you're compliant with HMRC regulations.

Step 1: Register for Self-Assessment

Firstly, if you haven’t already, you need to register with HMRC as self-employed. This can be done online at the official website. You’ll receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number, necessary for filing your return.

Step 2: Keep Your Records Straight

Throughout the financial year, keep detailed records of:

  • Income from sales or services

  • Business expenses

  • PAYE records (if you have employees)

  • VAT records (if you're VAT-registered)

  • Personal income

Step 3: Know Your Deadlines

For the tax year ending on April 5th, the online tax return and the payment are due by January 31st of the following year.

Step 4: Gather Relevant Documents

Before you start, gather all the necessary documents, including:

  • UTR number

  • National Insurance number

  • P60 or other records showing untaxed income

  • Bank statements

  • Receipts for expenses

  • Contributions to charity or pensions that might be eligible for tax relief

Step 5: Fill in Your Return

Login to your HMRC account and start filling in your return. This includes details of your income, expenses, and any allowances or reliefs you claim.

Step 6: Check, Check, and Double-Check

Errors can be costly. Go through your return meticulously to ensure all information is correct. This is where services like ours at Hamollisons can be invaluable—we help you ensure everything is accurate.

Step 7: Submit Your Return

Once you're certain everything is correct, submit your return. Don't wait until the deadline, as the website can be busy, and you want to avoid penalties for late submission.

Step 8: Make a Payment

Finally, you must pay what you owe. HMRC will calculate this based on your return, but it's good to have an idea beforehand what this might be. You can pay in several ways, including direct debit, bank transfer, or via the HMRC app.

Step 9: Keep Records

After you've submitted your return and made a payment, don’t forget to keep records of everything for at least 5 years, as HMRC might want to check them.

Step 10: Plan for Next Year

Start planning for the next tax year right away. Keep your records in order, save regularly for your tax bill, and consider setting up payments on account to spread the cost over the year.

At Hamollisons Bookkeeping Services, we understand that dealing with taxes can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you navigate the self-assessment process, offering personalised advice and support every step of the way.

Need help with your Self-Assessment? Contact us today to ensure you stay on top of your taxes without the stress.

Remember, this guide is for informational purposes only and doesn't replace professional advice specific to your individual circumstances.

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