It’s time to fill in your self assessment tax forms again after the last financial year ended on April 5.

To ensure that the HMRC are up to date with your finances, you can send over your self assessment form online or request a paper form.

If you use the online service you will need to sign in with a Government Gateway user ID and password, which can be asked for and sent to you by email if you do not currently have what is a 12 digit code.

Additionally you will also need your 10 digit Unique Ta Reference number, which you can find in any of your previous tax statements or on the HMRC app.

It will also be necessary to have your national insurance number handy to complete the assessment.

The vast majority of the time it would be the SA100 tax return form that would need to be completed.

The deadline to tell the HMRC that you need to fill out a form if you have not done this before is October 5.

While a paper tax return is due for October 31, and any online submissions must be completed by midnight on January 31 next year.

There is a penalty of £100 for any tax return that is filed up to three months late, which is raised if it is any later.

Who must send a self assessment tax form and what needs to be disclosed?

You would need to fill out a self assessment form is if you are a self employed person,  or more specifically a “sole trader” whose has earned over £1,000.

Other reasons include if you had a taxable income for the last financial year of more than £150,000.

Also if you are involved in a business partnership then it is necessary to fill out a self assessment form.

If you have sold or disposed of something that has increased in value, that would make you liable for capital gains tax and would need to be disclosed.

You may have to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge if your or your partner’s salary is over £60,000 and you receive child benefit.

Or if someone else gets child benefit for a child that is living with you and they contribute an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep, for both situations a self  assessment is necessary.

If you are currently renting out a property where the income from that was more than £2,500 then you need to declare this to the HMRC, or call them if the proceeds were between £1,000 and £2,500.

All earnings from other sources, for example from tips or commissions also need to be revealed to the HMRC via a self assessment.

Furthermore all income from savings, investments and dividends must be declared.

Plus any income that has been earned overseas must also be acknowledged to the HMRC.


Self assessment thresholds

You will need to be aware of what the limits are before you start to pay any income tax and national insurance on your earnings.

For the financial year that has just expired the personal allowance before you are liable for income tax is £12,570, and the government has said that this figure will remain the same for the 2024/25 financial year.

As for national insurance for the 2023/24 tax year class 2 contributions were £3.45 per week if your profits were above the £12,570 threshold.

While class 4 contributions were charged at 9% on profits between £12,570 and £50,270, and at 2% on profits over £50,270.

This financial year all class 2 contributions have been scrapped, and class 4 national insurance will be paid at the rate of 6% on profits between £12,570 and £50,270 and

2% on profits over £50,270.


Ways to pay your tax bill

The deadline to pay your tax bill is usually January 31 for the previous tax year.

If you do not meet this deadline then you will incur a penalty interest charge.

You can also set up a budget repayment plan, where you can make weekly or monthly payments towards your next self assessment tax bill.

This means that you will have less to pay in one go at the payment deadline.

If your circumstances are more serious where you cannot pay your outstanding tax bill,  then a payment plan known as “Time to Pay” could be set up with HMRC agreement.


Self assessment helpline is now open

Recently the HMRC made a huge u-turn after it had announced that it was to close the self assessment helpline between April and September every year.

After listening  to feedback it has halted the plans, but it has said that it will continue to encourage a transition to its online services to iron out any problems.

The number to call is 0300 200 3310, and the helpline is open between Monday and Friday starting at 8AM and closing at 6PM.