It is that time of year again and the deadline for filing your tax return is looming – if you are unsure it is 31st January.

So do you need to file a tax return?  You do if, during the last tax year (6th April 2018 to 5th April 2019), you were self employed as a sole trader and earned more than £1,000.  You must also file one if you were a partner in a business partnership or a director of a limited company whose income was not taxed at source and/or you have further tax to pay.

In this digital age it really is pretty straightforward.  Everything can be done online at HRMC.  You will need to register with them if you have not done so before.

Before you start make sure you have your UTR (unique taxpayer reference) and your National Insurance number to hand.  You may also need bank and building society statements together with your profit and loss accounts and any other business records that might be relevant.

The online form is divided into these sections:

  • Section 1 – your personal details
  • Section 2 – here you enter your income and gains from various sources such as self-employment
  • Section 3 – enter income from bank or building society interest, pensions, share dividends and benefits
  • Section 4 – any other relevant information such as student loans, pension contributions etc

Don’t forget that you can deduct any allowable costs incurred in the running of your business, such as heating, lighting, rent, rates, relevant professional fees, cost of protective clothing and the like.

Do make sure you get your tax return in on time.  There are penalties if you don’t!