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Remember to Register for Self-Assessment

If you are a newly self-employed individual or business owner, it is important to register for a Self-Assessment Tax Return before the deadline of 5 October 2023 if you had income before 5 April 2023. Missing the deadline can lead to serious consequences, including penalties and fines. Other circumstances will result in you needing to register for self-assessment. Being aware of the various deadlines imposed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can help you minimise your tax liability while remaining compliant with HMRC.


The Registration Deadline: 5 October 2023

Don’t miss the deadline to register for self-assessment – it’s coming up on 5 October. If you qualify for needing a self-assessment tax return before the end of the tax year, 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023, act now and register before it’s too late. Registering for self-assessment is a crucial step in fulfilling your tax obligations, and by registering well in advance of your first necessary filing, you can ensure you remain compliant. Whether you’re a sole trader, a limited company director, or in a business partnership, it’s essential to register with HMRC. You must register by this date to ensure you can submit your self-assessment tax return and report your income and expenses for the tax year, including details of your national insurance contributions, income tax, pension scheme contributions, and any other tax liabilities.

Why You Should Not Miss the 5th October Deadline

Those who filed a self-assessment tax return last year need not worry about registration, but those newly eligible in the previous tax year must ensure they have registered. Failure to notify penalties can apply if HMRC is not notified by the deadline. These are based on the tax due and can be expensive. If you are unsure whether you need to register for the year 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023, then please get in touch with us and we can help you.

Benefits of Early Registration

Early registration for self-assessment offers several benefits. Firstly, it provides ample time to gather and organise all the necessary documents properly, ensuring a smooth and efficient self-assessment process. Additionally, early registrants can seek professional advice and guidance from a tax professional who can advise you on how to minimise your tax liability.

Another advantage of early registration is the increased flexibility it offers. You will have more time to review your financial records, identify any errors or omissions, and make any necessary adjustments before the submission deadline. This helps avoid last-minute rush and potential penalties for mistakes.

Moreover, early registration demonstrates diligence and compliance with HMRC. It showcases a responsible approach to taxation and a commitment to fulfilling all legal obligations. By registering early, you can show a willingness to cooperate with the tax authorities and provide accurate information on time.

Who Needs to Register?

Registering for self-assessment is a requirement for individuals who meet specific criteria. If any of the following apply to you, you must register:

  • You earned income from self-employment as a sole trader or in a partnership.
  • You own your own business and take money from there
  • You received income from renting out property or land.
  • You earned income from investments, such as dividends or savings interest, that is outside the scope of the allowances
  • You earn foreign money
  • You had a total taxable income of more than £100,000

There are more reasons for people to need to register, which can be found on the government website. If you are still unsure, it is prudent to speak to an accountant who will understand your situation and offer guidance and support.

How to Register for Self-Assessment?

To register for self-assessment, visit the HMRC website and complete the online registration form. Ensure you provide accurate personal information, details of your income sources, and any allowances or deductions. Once registered, HMRC will issue a unique taxpayer reference (UTR) number that you can use for future filings and correspondence.

How Can an Accountant Help With Your Self-Assessment?

Accountants play a crucial role in self-assessment by leveraging their knowledge and experience to provide accurate and timely filing of tax returns while helping you to navigate the complexities of the self-assessment process. Finding an accountant who understands your situation can help you ensure that you take full advantage of available tax-saving opportunities. For those with complex financial situations or multiple sources of income, accountants offer invaluable assistance in managing and organising your financial records.

One of the most significant advantages is the time and stress it can save you. By entrusting your financial matters to an expert, you can focus on other aspects of your business or personal life. Additionally, accountants have the knowledge and experience to help you avoid costly mistakes or penalties, meaning you spend a fraction of the time while minimising the potential for errors.

If you register early for self-assessment, you allow yourself time to liaise with an accountant to ensure that you are set up as tax efficiently as possible, to avoid paying too much, and to ensure all of the necessary paperwork is filed before the 31st January deadline.

Essential Information Required by HMRC

When registering for self-assessment with HMRC, there are several essential pieces of information that you will need to provide. First and foremost, HMRC requires your personal details, including your name, address, and National Insurance number. This ensures they have accurate information about who you are and where you live.

In addition to personal details, once registered, you must provide income details from any sources. This includes employment income, self-employment income, income from investments, dividend payments and more. It’s essential to include all sources of income to ensure that your tax liability is accurately calculated, or else you risk an investigation from HMRC, which will result in the payment of the tax plus interest due.

Furthermore, you should include details of any allowances, deductions, and reliefs that you are entitled to claim. This could consist of business expenses, charitable donations, or other legitimate deductions that can help reduce your overall tax bill. Consulting with an accountant will help you to know what you can and can’t include, as well as any potential areas where you can deduct costs you have paid personally.

When registering for self-assessment, gathering all the necessary information is important to ensure a smooth and accurate filing process. Staying organised and registering before the deadline gives you more time to compile all the required documents.

Penalties for Non-compliance

HMRC takes non-compliance with self-assessment filings seriously and imposes penalties to ensure adherence. Late filing can incur penalties starting from £100, with additional daily charges, which can quickly add up if left unaddressed. Inaccurate or deliberate evasion of taxes can lead to even higher penalties or legal action. With interest due on overdue payments, you must file your tax return in good time to avoid any unforeseen circumstances affecting your submission and payment.

If you need help with your self-assessment, talk to Sherwin Currid's personal tax accountants.