This article explains how to complete the main page of the Self Assessment tax return in FreeAgent.
Everyone who files their Self Assessment tax return with FreeAgent needs to complete the Main Return page.
This article provides a summary of the Main Return page and the compulsory information required. It also offers some additional information about the commonly completed fields in the ‘Income’ and ‘Tax reliefs’ sections. For more information about the main return page, speak to your accountant or HMRC, or see HMRC's guidance.
Remember: FreeAgent cannot advise you on how to fill in your tax return correctly, nor can we check your figures to see if they are correct, unless they have been calculated by the software. We are not authorised by HMRC to provide accounting or tax advice. If you are in any doubt as to whether a figure on your tax return is right, you need to speak to your accountant or to HMRC. If you don't have an accountant, have a look in our accountants' directory for a FreeAgent Friendly accountant.
HMRC asks you to provide some personal details at the start of the Main Return page. Complete the required fields and provide your phone number if you're happy for HMRC to contact you by phone.
Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
HMRC issues a UTR to everyone who registers for Self Assessment. You will find the number at the top of any letters you receive from HMRC that relate to your personal tax affairs. The UTR number is made up of 10 numerical characters.
Make sure you use your own UTR when you complete your Self Assessment tax return. It can be easy to get multiple numbers mixed up, so it’s a good idea to double-check that you’re not using someone else’s UTR.
Completing the Main Return page
Some of the data on the Main Return page is pre-populated for you based on your records in FreeAgent, but you'll have to fill in some other boxes yourself. Many of these boxes are optional but some fields are required; these are indicated with an orange outline. If a box isn't relevant to you and isn't required, just leave it blank.
As you progress through the Main Return page, set the sections that apply to you to ‘Yes’ and complete all the relevant fields. Any sections that remain set to ‘No’ won’t be included in your tax return.
Bank interest received - tax taken off
To expand this section and complete the relevant boxes, answer ‘Yes’ to ‘Did you receive any income from UK interest or dividends?’.
When you receive interest on a bank account, this will nearly always be taxed at 20%. The bank pays 20% to HMRC on your behalf and you receive the amount after tax. You should enter any interest that has already had tax deducted from it in box 1.
Bank interest received - no tax taken off
Some bank accounts have gross interest paid into them. This means that no tax is deducted from the payments. You should enter any gross interest payments you’ve received during the tax year into box 2 of the Income section of the main return. You will have to pay tax on this income.
Interest paid tax-free, such as interest on an ISA, does not go on to the tax return at all.
This relates to boxes 3-6 of the ‘UK interest and dividends’ area in the ‘Income’ section of the Main Return page.
Box 3 relates to dividends you receive from UK companies. The first field is for dividends you receive from the limited company of which you’re a director. FreeAgent completes this box automatically for you. The second field relates to dividends from shares you hold in other UK companies. FreeAgent adds the figures in the two fields together and displays the total.
If you need to complete boxes 4-6 we recommend that you consult HMRC’s guidance and speak to your accountant if you need further advice.
State pension received
To expand this section and complete the relevant boxes, answer ‘Yes’ to ‘Did you receive any pensions, annuities or state benefits?’
If you're receiving state pension, you should record the gross amount from the pension statement that you received from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) at the start of the tax year in box 7. Bear in mind that this won't necessarily be the amount you received in your bank account, as state pension is paid in arrears.
Pension contributions paid
To expand this section and complete the relevant boxes, answer ‘Yes’ to‘Did you contribute to registered pension schemes or overseas pension schemes?’.
If your pension contributions are deducted directly from your wages, these wouldn't normally go on your tax return at all, because the tax relief is handled by the pension provider. This is the case regardless of whether the company (your employer) also makes separate contributions to your pension.
However, if your pension provider claims basic rate tax relief for payments to your pension scheme (your provider will be able to tell you if this is the case), you should enter the amount you personally paid into your pension scheme during the tax year in the ‘Money paid into pension schemes’ section. You will find this figure on the pension certificate or receipt that your pension provider gives you each year. Most people can enter this information in box 1 and FreeAgent will the automatically ‘gross this up' to calculate your contributions including tax relief.
However, depending on your circumstances, might need to enter the figures relating to the money you’ve paid into pension schemes in box 2, 3 or 4 instead. If you're not sure which box to enter your pension contributions into, or what figure to use, you should speak to your accountant or to HMRC.
Donations made to charities
To expand this section and complete the relevant boxes, answer ‘Yes’ to ‘Did you contribute to charities?’.
If you made donations to charity under Gift Aid during the tax year, you should enter the amount you donated in box 5. Remember to include only the amount you donated, and not the relief the charity will claim.
If your income for the tax year that ended on 5 April 2017 was less than £10,600 and your spouse or civil partner’s income was less than £42,386, you can transfer £1,060 of your Personal Allowance to your spouse or civil partner to reduce the amount of tax they pay if all of the following apply:
- you were married to, or in a civil partnership with, the same person for all or part of the tax year
- you were both born on or after 6 April 1935
Alternatively, if the above apply and your income for the tax year that ended on 5 April 2017 was less than £42,386 and your spouse or civil partner's income was less than £10,600, you can receive the marriage allowance in the form of £1,060 of their Personal Allowance.
You can apply for the marriage allowance online and and you should make sure your application has been processed by HMRC before you submit your Self Assessment.
If you’ve registered to transfer or receive the allowance, or plan to do so, answer ‘Yes’ in the section shown below.
FreeAgent knows whether you’re either transferring the marriage allowance or receiving it based on your income. If you’re receiving the marriage allowance (and not transferring it), you don’t need to do anything further after selecting ‘Yes’ in the section shown above. If you’re transferring the marriage allowance, you will also be prompted to enter your partner’s details.