Introduction to Self Assessment (sole traders)
The Self Assessment section of FreeAgent helps pull together the figures for your Self Assessment tax return, and provides a tax liability calculation.
Nearly all business owners have to file a Self Assessment tax return, or tax return for short, every year.
As a sole trader, your tax return will show details of your share of the business's profit (which will be all of the business's profit). Your tax return will also show any other income you may have, such as bank interest and any tax reliefs you're entitled to, for example if you've donated money to a charity under the Gift Aid scheme.
Your tax return must be filed with HMRC by 31st January after the end of the tax year, so long as you file it online. If you file late, you'll be fined at least £100 - further information is available on HMRC’s deadlines and penalties page.
Self Assessment pages
There are different pages in the Self Assessment area of FreeAgent, corresponding to different parts of the tax return:
The main page in the return shows your personal details and simpler sources of income such as bank interest and dividends from shares, and tax reliefs such as those on some pension contributions.
If you are an employee of a business, use the employment page to report your wages and any benefits you received from your employer. If you have more than one job, you must fill in an employment section for each job.
Self-employed individuals (sole traders and partners) should fill in the self employment page to report business profits. If you have more than one business, you must fill in a Self Employment section for each business.
This page contains an overview of your tax liability and NICs (National Insurance Contributions) due, and allows you to include details of tax adjustments including applying for a reduction in your payments on account.
In addition, there is a Tax Breakdown page which contains a step-by-step calculation of how your Tax Due figures are worked out.
Unsupported Self Assessment pages
While the current pages should cover the needs of most FreeAgent users, there are parts of the Self Assessment tax return that FreeAgent doesn't currently support. These include:
- UK Property
- Foreign Income
- Capital Gains summary
- Trust Income
- Residence, remittance basis etc
- Anything on the SA101 Additional Information form
If you need to complete any of these pages then you won't be able to use FreeAgent to submit your Self Assessment return.
Filling in the tax return pages
To find your tax return in FreeAgent, go to Taxes > Self Assessment, and choose the user and tax year.
Each page in the return is accessed via the Your Tax Return menu on the right. The menu also highlights the status of each page, indicating if it is still In Progress or not.
Each page in the return is broken down into a number of sections, which contain the data and boxes you need to fill in to complete the tax return.
If you need to fill in a section, choose Yes for that section. Sections for which you choose No won't be won't be included in your tax return.
Some of this data is pre-populated for you, based on records already in FreeAgent, but you'll have to fill in some boxes yourself. Many of these boxes are optional but some are required, and these are indicated with an orange outline. If a box isn't relevant to you and isn't required, just leave it blank.
FreeAgent will automatically save the data you've entered into the boxes as you progress down the page, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to save your data.
At the top of each page you may see an In Progress status if a page still has required information to be filled in, and showing how many sections or questions still need to be answered.
For individual sections that haven't been completed yet, the status of that section will show as Incomplete.
When all the required questions have been answered, and all the required sections completed, these statuses will disappear.
You should still check that all the boxes relevant to your business have been answered, because FreeAgent doesn't know exactly which ones apply to you and which don't.
Status icons also appear in the Your Tax Return menu, allowing you to quickly see which pages still require your attention.
You can also see your tax and class 4 National Insurance figure due at the top of each page which is calculated based on your FreeAgent data and the information you've entered into the forms so far. Remember that any payment on account you have to make for next tax year is in addition to this amount.
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