Full Guide To Self Assessment Tax Return 2024

11 January, 2024 · 5 min read

As we gear up for the upcoming Self Assessment tax return deadline on 31 January 2024, we wanted to share some friendly advice to make sure your tax journey is as smooth as it can be. 🚀

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Who Needs To Do A Self Assessment Tax Return?

If your income comes through the PAYE payroll system or from a pension, you're usually in the clear. However, if you're self-employed, juggling multiple job roles, a company director, or bringing in diverse income streams, the Self Assessment spotlight will probably shine on you.

Top tips for a hassle-free tax season

Know your UTR

Your Unique Taxpayer Reference is your golden ticket. Keep it safe, and if it ever decides to play hide-and-seek, apply for a replacement from HMRC as soon as possible. Your UTR is found on any correspondence received from HMRC in relation to your self-assessment – including on the tax return reminders that HMRC sends every year.

Be prepared

Imagine gearing up for the tax return adventure only to find out you're missing a crucial puzzle piece to actually complete it. Double check that you have all the necessary details from your self-employment information all the way to your investment records. Here’s a list of details that you’re required to have to complete your tax return accurately:

  1. Your Self-Employment details (if you were in a self-employed business during the year as a sole trader)
  2. Partnership Income details (if you were in a partnership during the year)
  3. Your P60 or P45 (if you were employed during the tax year)
  4. Your P11D (if you had one)
  5. Records of all your other income (earnings, rent etc)
  6. Details of any investments you hold (or have sold in this tax year)
  7. Dividends received (from either stocks and shares or your own limited company)
  8. Bank interest received
  9. Gifts you’ve made to charity
  10. Benefits claimed (including child benefit)
  11. Pension or State Pension income
  12. Student loan repayments
  13. Redundancy payments

Don’t delay

Procrastination and taxes don't mix well. Filing under pressure can often lead to mistakes and unnecessary headaches. Beat the crowd, avoid last-minute panics, and file your tax return on the Government Gateway portal well in advance.

For the self-employed

ANNA business account holders, rejoice! Your income and expenditure details are at your fingertips in the ANNA app, making the self-employment pages of the Self Assessment a breeze. Make sure you’ve included all your business transactions and categorised them for a hassle-free experience.

Knowing what to claim

Tax deductions can be a puzzle – it’s sometimes confusing whether you can claim certain costs, such as client entertainment and fines. Luckily, Terrapin, ANNA's AI taxbot can help answer your questions about what expenses are tax deductible. It can’t give you professional advice, but it can answer your tax questions quickly and comprehensively.

Don't be late

If you don’t have all the necessary information, you should file an estimated return to dodge the initial £100 penalty. You can always update it with accurate figures as soon as they're available, so you stay penalty-free and meet your filing requirements.

Paying your tax

File early so that you have enough time to arrange the actual payment. If you're facing difficulties paying up HMRC does normally allow online payment plans if your liability is shown to be less than £30,000.

Payments on account

If you're dealing with payments-on-account (advance payments towards your upcoming tax bill, paid in two tranches in January and July,  based on the previous year's tax), you may need to adjust these payments for cashflow. Anticipating a lower tax liability than the previous year? You can reduce the payment but tread carefully – excessive reductions can lead to interest charges. 

Check all details

Make sure to double-check everything to avoid HMRC inquiries. Accuracy matters and penalties for filing 'carelessly' are needless and will make you very grumpy.

Retain documentation

Don't throw your tax-related paperwork away after filing your tax return. There's a legal requirement to keep them, so stash them away safely.

We hope these tips prove useful when you’re sorting your taxes. Remember, you’ve got this! 💼✨ If you ever need a virtual pat on the back or have questions, ANNA is just a message away.

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