Left it to the last minute? Start Here (2017/18)

This article has been updated for the 2017/18 Financial Year which ended on 5 April 2018, and requires submission of a tax return by 31 January 2019.

Tax returns are not as scary as you may be thinking. To put things as simple as possible, it’s a way for HM Revenue and Customs to look at what your business has done over the past 12 months, and tax appropriately. They are looking for one very simple item – how much your taxable profits are, and to tax this as normal.

Tip – keep this page open whilst clicking any links for help finding what you need.

The first step is to ensure you’ve registered (fees do apply if not) and have been informed by HMRC that you need to complete a tax return for the last tax year. They run from 6 April – 5 April (1 full year).

HMRC are currently accepting tax returns for the period from April 2017 – April 2018 (the last year year), and the deadline for this is 31 January 2019. Any tax which is due must be paid – and if you need to make Payments on Account, these need the first instalment to be paid.

When registering, you’ll receive something called a Unique Tax Reference or UTR number. Keep this safe, as you’ll need this to complete your return. You’ll also need a Government Gateway account, and this can be registered online on HMRC’s website. They need to send an activation code to your home address, therefore you must do this as soon as possible – it can take up to 10 days to send this in the post (you might not be the only one in the country doing this last minute), so it’s best to get it done as soon as you can. Until the logins and numbers arrive in the post, you cannot submit a return online.

The next thing is to start getting together all of your paperwork. So the first thing is income which is quite simple – just look at your monthly PFS documents for these. However income is the money which you receive as a business, therefore this would be the initial money as the end of your group. Look at your PFS document and you’ll find this (add together your earnings, SW Fees and Rent). Also find the commission amount, and add this to the same figure – this is your basic income.

Expenses can also be found on this page. Expenses are things such as the SW Fees and Rent (yes we added them earlier, but you then take them away as expenses). You may also have receipts around the house for items you purchased (did you buy anything from the eshop? look in your email) and you’ll find a load of items for the previous tax year which you can use. However do ensure that you’ve only included items for with the dates of the last year.

Next, take a look at our expenses guide, you’ll find lots of items you can claim for as part of business expenses. Need help? Ask on the Facebook group.

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