The Main Return page of the Self Assessment tax return
This article provides a summary of the 'Main Return' page of the Self Assessment tax return in FreeAgent and the relevant information required to complete it.
Everyone who files their Self Assessment tax return using FreeAgent needs to complete the 'Main Return' page. This includes entering your personal details, income, tax reliefs and Coronavirus support scheme payments.
We are not authorised by HMRC to provide accounting or tax advice. Therefore, FreeAgent’s Support team cannot advise you on how to fill in your tax return correctly or check your figures to see if they are correct, unless they have been calculated by the software. If you’re unsure whether a figure on your tax return is right, please speak to your accountant or to HMRC.
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)
To file your Self Assessment tax return to HMRC using FreeAgent, you’ll need to enter your 10-digit unique tax reference number in your user profile. HMRC issues a UTR to all self-employed taxpayers. You’ll find the number at the top of any letters you receive from HMRC. The UTR number is always 10 characters long and these 10 characters will all be numbers - no letters. Make sure you use your own UTR.
Bank interest received: tax taken off
When you receive interest on a bank account, this may be free of tax or be taxed at 20%. If it's taxed, the bank pays 20% to HMRC on your behalf and you receive the amount after tax. Interest that's already had tax taken off goes into box 1 of the ‘Income’ section of the 'Main Return' page.
FreeAgent will highlight above box 1, the total amount of any transactions that you've explained as ‘Interest Received’, which HMRC say must be entered on the 'Main Return' page rather than on the Self Employment pages. You may need to enter this in box 1 if the interest was taxed, or box 2 if it wasn’t taxed.
If your business's year end does not match the tax year end (which is always 5th April), the bank interest from your accounts must be included in the ‘Income’ section in accordance with what the bank paid to you in the tax year - not the accounting year.
If you have bank accounts other than the business bank account, and you received interest on these accounts, enter this too, adding the interest to either box 1 or box 2.
If the interest was taxed, enter the amount that was actually paid into your bank account(s) between 6th April and 5th April.
Bank interest received: no tax taken off
Bank interest that has had no tax taken off goes into box 2 of the ‘Income’ section of the 'Main Return'. You’ll 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.
Record any dividends you've received during the tax year in the correct box from numbers 4-7 depending on where you received the dividend from.
If you’re unsure which box to enter the dividends in, please ask your accountant or see HMRC's guidance on tax on dividends.
If you have a limited company FreeAgent account type, the first field in box 4 will be completed for you, with the amount of dividends you received from the limited company of which you’re a director. If you received dividends from shares you hold in other UK companies, enter these in the second field. FreeAgent will add the figures in the two fields together and display the total.
UK Pension income
If you're receiving a State Pension, enter the gross amount from the pension statement that you get from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in box 8. This won't necessarily be the amount you've actually received into your bank account as the State Pension is paid in arrears.
Pension contributions paid
As there are several different boxes which personal pension contributions might go in (boxes 1-4 in the ‘Tax Reliefs’ section of the 'Main return' page), FreeAgent can't populate these for you. You’ll need to enter the contributions manually.
If you're unsure which box to enter your pension contributions in or what figure to use, please ask your accountant.
If the pension provider is claiming basic rate tax relief on your behalf, enter the amount you paid in, into box 1 and FreeAgent will ‘gross this up' for tax relief. For example, if you paid in £800, the pension provider will have claimed £200 tax relief, so you would enter £800 in box 1 and FreeAgent will work out the tax relief for you. The amount you paid in will be on the pension certificate or receipt that the pension provider gives you each year.
Donations made to charities
If you've made donations to charity under Gift Aid, enter the amount you actually donated, not the relief the charity will claim, into box 5.
Even if you've explained any bank transactions in your accounts as ‘Charitable Donations’, you’ll need to manually enter the amounts on the tax return.
Incorrectly claimed coronavirus support scheme payments
If you made an error when claiming from an HMRC coronavirus support scheme, for example overclaiming through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), and you haven’t yet reported the error to HMRC, you’ll need to enter these figures into the 'Main Return' page.
To do this, enter the total amount of SEISS payments that you incorrectly claimed in box 2. Enter the total amount of any other coronavirus support scheme payments in box 1.
If your income for the tax year that ended on 5th April 2023 was less than £12,570 and your spouse or civil partner’s income was less than £50,270 (or £43,662 for Scottish taxpayers), you can transfer £1,260 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 6th April 1935
Alternatively, if the above applies and your income for the tax year that ended on 5th April 2023 was less than £50,270 (or £43,662 for Scottish taxpayers) and your spouse or civil partner's income was less than £12,570, you can receive the marriage allowance in the form of £1,260 of their Personal Allowance.
You can apply for the marriage allowance online 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, select ‘Yes’ to ‘Are you transferring or receiving marriage allowance?’.
FreeAgent will know whether you’re either transferring the marriage allowance or receiving it based on your income. If you’re receiving the marriage allowance, you don’t need to do anything further after selecting ‘Yes’. If you’re transferring the marriage allowance, you’ll be prompted to enter your partner’s details.
Coronavirus support scheme payments
If you received coronavirus support scheme payments (such as SEISS or CJRS) and have declared these as part of your business’s income, you’ll need to select ‘Yes’ to box 20.1 on your Self Assessment tax return in FreeAgent.