Many businesses, particularly start-ups, side hustles and freelancers, submit their self assessment tax returns themselves. Here are a few tips in order to make the process as smooth as possible. I recommend having this all to hand before you start.

Your 2019/20 tax return relates to the period 6th April 2019 to 5th April 2020.


Assuming you have already registered for Self Assessment with HMRC, you will have a Government Gateway account. You will need login details for this.

You will also need your personal information – name, address, date of birth – hopefully you know that without too much trouble!

You will also need your HMRC “Unique Taxpayer Reference” (UTR) and your NI number.



If you were employed in the 2019/2020 tax year then you will need a copy of your P60 (you should have received this from your employer) and your P11d (if you received any taxable benefits).

This also applies if you are director of your own limited company.


You will need your sole trader accounts for this bit. You can choose whether to break down expenditure into each individual category e.g. travel, insurance etc, or just record it as one total figure.


If you had any of the following during the year then have this information ready too:-


Interest received (not from ISAs)

Rental income and associated expenditure


If you pay into a personal pension then have a note of your contributions made in the year.

If you make charitable donations then list these out too.

Both of these may attract extra tax relief if you are a higher rate tax payer.


If your earnings are over £50k then you will need to declare any Child Benefit income received by yourself or your partner. Once you reach that limit you may have to pay a tax charge and if your income is over £60k then you will be charged the total amount of the Child Benefit.

This also applies if you receive the Child Benefit but it is your partner’s income that is over the limit.

You can opt out if receiving Child Benefit payments in the first place if this becomes an issue.


The deadline for paper returns is 31st October 2020. Online returns are 31st January 2021. Tax payable is also due by 31st January 2021.

Best just get it done as soon as possible so you can plan for any tax payable.

If you have any questions on the above or about submitting your tax return in general then please just get in touch. I am always happy to help and provide some guidance if I can – one small business can help another!

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