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Money Matters: How to stay on top of your Self Assessment Tax Return

When you work for yourself, whether as a sole trader, freelancer, contractor, or as the owner of a small business, you are typically responsible for paying taxes on your income. Here are the key points to consider regarding paying taxes when you work for yourself

If you work for yourself you are considered self-employed, and you are responsible for paying income tax and National Insurance contributions on your earnings. Here's an overview of how to pay tax when you work for yourself in the:

1. Register as Self-Employed:

  • You must register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). You can do this online through the HMRC website or by calling their helpline.

2,Keep Records:

  • Maintain accurate records of your income and expenses related to your self-employment. This includes invoices, receipts, bank statements, and any other financial documents.It 's crucial to maintain organized records and receipts for at least five years, as HMRC may audit your tax return or request further information.

3. Calculate Taxable Profits:

  • At the end of the tax year (which runs from April 6th to April 5th), you'll need to calculate your taxable profits. This involves subtracting allowable business expenses from your total income to determine your taxable income

4. Pay Income Tax:

  • You will be required to pay income tax on your taxable profits. The amount of income tax you owe depends on your total income and applicable tax rates.

5. Pay National Insurance Contributions:

  • As a self-employed individual, you are also responsible for paying Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs). The amount you pay depends on your earnings and is calculated alongside your income tax

6. Submit Self-Assessment Tax Return:

  • You need to complete and submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC each year. This tax return will include details of your income, expenses, and tax calculations. The deadline for submitting your tax return and paying any tax owed is usually January 31st following the end of the tax year.

7. Payment Methods:

  • You can make tax payments online using HMRC's online services. Payment options typically include bank transfers, debit or credit cards, and Direct Debit.

8. Seek Professional Advice:

  • If you're unsure about your tax obligations or need assistance with your tax return, consider consulting a qualified accountant or tax advisor who specializes in self-employed taxation

Failing to meet tax deadlines or underreporting income can result in penalties and interest charges. It's essential to stay informed about your tax responsibilities and keep accurate financial records to ensure compliance with HMRC regulations. Additionally, consider making payments on account, which are advance payments towards your tax bill if your tax liability is expected to be substantial. This can help you avoid a large tax bill at the end of the tax year.

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