Every self employed business is required to register the business with HMRC within three months of commencing trading. Following registration HMRC issue the unique tax payers reference and annually send out the self assessment tax return. The self assessment paper tax return is submitted by October while filing the Inland Revenue self assessment tax return online requires further registration.
Filing Paper Self Assessment Tax Return
Filing paper self assessment tax return is achieved by posting to HMRC to arrive by 31 October or hand into a HMRC enquiry centre. Tax office addresses can be found on the Inland Revenue website. After filing paper self assessment tax return the tax liability can be paid but remains due by the following January tax deadline.
The printed paper tax return sent to HMRC should be identical in format to the official HMRC version of the paper return. Substitute copies of the paper self assessment tax return are not accepted. Additional information can be sent and filed if necessary to support for example notes in the additional information section of the paper tax return.
Registering To File Self Assessment Tax Return Online
Before the self assessment tax return can be filed online the self employed business has to register and activate the process which can take 7 to 10 days as the activation pin number is sent by post.
To begin the registration process visit the HMRC website home page and in the section marked do it online click self assessment. In the new user section of the HMRC online services page click register. On the next page click individual and the following page self assessment and then follow the online tax registration instructions.
During the registration you will be required to provide either your post code or national insurance number and also your unique taxpayer reference. The unique taxpayer reference would have been allocated when the business was first registered as self employed and appears at the top of the full tax return and also on any Inland Revenue letters regarding your tax affairs.
Following registration government gateway post the unique user ID and activation pin number which can then be used to log into the online account to complete the registration within the 28 days limit for activation.
Advantages Filing Self Assessment Tax Return Online
HMRC encourage filing self assessment tax return online as it streamlines their administration and carries advantages for the tax filing by self employed business enabling the online tax return to be processed quicker than the paper tax return. The HMRC tax calculator immediately calculates the national insurance and income tax liability and also offers the option to pay that tax liability online immediately.
Filing the self assessment tax return online also offers peace of mind as an email acknowledgement is received. HMRC do not issue receipts for paper returns Filing tax returns online can be done 24 hours a day and both the tax liability and payment history can be accessed and payments made if required to avoid late payment fines.
A significant advantage of filing tax return online is the additional 3 months between the paper tax return deadline at 31 October and the online tax return deadline 31 January. This time gap can be used to review the self assessment return being submitted ensuring accuracy. Reviewing the tax return after preparation can often stimulate the memory of tax deductible expenses that may have been mislaid or forgotten which can then be deducted to reduce the final tax bill.