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HMRC Self Assessment 2018.

Make sure you’re ready for the Self Assessment deadline this January.


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All you need to know about Self Assessment.

How do I register for Self Assessment?

Hopefully you’ll have registered as a sole trader as soon as you started working for yourself – this year’s deadline was 5 October 2017. The next step is to enrol for HMRC’s online service and to do this you’ll need to create a Government Gateway account. You can also now use GOV.UK Verify to access Self Assessment – allow 5-15 minutes when you sign up for the first time.

What can I claim back as expenses?

Stock, office bills, subcontractor payments and the cost of marketing your business are all 'allowable expenses' but clothes aren’t (unless you wear a uniform) and neither is entertaining clients. Travel, including fuel, parking and train fares can be claimed, but journeys to and from your place of work don’t count. And if you work from home, you can claim a percentage of your relevant bills, or claim a set amount through simplified expenses (between £10-26 a month).

And what about capital allowances?

Also known as plant and machinery, capital allowances don’t just apply to heavy industry. Any kind of equipment or company cars or vans as well as computers and office furniture count – but they must be bought rather than rented.

If I’m late, how much will I be charged?

There’s a fine of £100 if you don’t meet the 31 January deadline. That increases after 3 months if you still haven’t done your return. There are penalties for late payments too, so it makes sense to get organised.

Can I make changes after submission?

Yes. You can correct mistakes from this year or previous years by logging in to your HMRC online account. But it goes without saying that it’s better to get everything right first time.

How do I contact HMRC?

Call them on 0300 200 3310 or contact them via Twitter @HMRCcustomers. Webchat is also available through the HMRC website.

Who needs to submit Self Assessment?

You’ll need to if you work for yourself, even if you’re also employed elsewhere. Income from property rental can count, as does any regular income made from selling items (eBay entrepreneurs beware). Claiming Child Benefit? If you or your partner earn more than £50,000, you’ll have to do a Self Assessment too.

Do landlords have to submit Self Assessment?

Whilst some landlords may not consider themselves to be self employed or a small business, HMRC takes a different view. If you rent out a property and have earned between £2,500 - £9,999 after allowable expenses or £10,000 or more before allowable expenses, it needs be declared through Self Assessment.

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