Personal Tax Return – Everything You Need To Know About Tax Returns

Filling your Self Assessment can be an overwhelming process especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Fortress Accounts wants to let you know everything you need to know about filling, registering, deadlines and other important aspects surrounding your personal tax return.

Do I need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return?

Yes you should fill one if:

  • you’re a director of a company
  • your taxable income was above £100,000
  • your self employed and your income was over £1,000 before expenses

To see other eligible categories for filing a personal tax return visit HMRC on GOV.UK

How to register for a Self Assessment tax return?

Self Assessment is registered differently if you’re in a partnership, self-employed or have income o declare even if you not self-employed. Get in touch with our team at Fortress Accounts and we will help you with the registration.

After registering you will receive a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). For your first online submission, you will be required to set a Government Gateway account using instructions sent to you along with your UTR. Keep the login details to access your Gateway Account for your next submission.

What are the Self Assessment deadlines?

The tax year is between 6 April and 5 April of the following year and you will receive a notice asking you to submit a tax return for the ended year. It should be filled even when you don’t receive the notice.

Other deadlines to keep in mind are:

  • 5 October to register for Self Assessment with HMRC if you haven’t submitted a tax return before.
  • 31st October by midnight for paper tax return. You will be penalised if you miss this date even if you don’t have any tax owed.
  • 31st January midnight after the end of the tax year is the day for submitting online filed tax returns.

Fortress Accounts is a leading chartered accounting firm that can help you file and submit all your personal tax returns so you don’t have to worry about missing any deadlines.

What information will I need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return?

If you are filing your first self assessment here are some important things you should have:

  • Your national Insurance Number
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Details on expenses acquired if your self employed
  • Records of contributions made to charities or pension schemes
  • Details of previous untaxed income from dividends or other income sources.
  • Records on previously taxed income or a P60 form.

If their other areas that your not sure of, you can visit the HMRC page on GOV.UK website.

How to fill in a Self Assessment tax return

The Self-assessment tax return has two sections with the SA100 as the main section. It deals with:

  • Pension contributions
  • Donations to charities
  • Taxed and untaxed income from dividends and interest
  • Tax relief benefits including child benefit, blind person allowance and state pension.

A supplementary page is included if you are a company director or non-UK citizen with income from abroad, self-employment, Capital Gains or property that needs declaring.

The SA200 should only be filled if it is sent by HMRC.

How to fill in the main tax return (SA100)

To complete your SA100 correctly, make sure you read all the helpsheets and notes available under the self-assessment section on GOV.UK.


This section is for declaring tax and untaxed income for any interest that you may have earned from the bank and building society accounts or earned dividends from shares.

Pensions, annuities and state benefits

If you retired, you have to show:

  • The total amount of State Pension that you were eligible to get over the tax year
  • Gross amount of lump sums from other pensions or annuities
  • Gross amount of any State Pension lump sum

When claiming for benefits, you have to show:

  • The overall sum of taxable benefits already received that may include Carer’s Allowance, Bereavement Allowance and Industrial Death Benefit
  • Total amount received from Jobseeker’s Allowance and the Incapacity benefit.

Other UK income

You should show other taxable income on this section and it does not include income from dividends or interest or the types of income shown on the supplementary pages.

Pension contributions

Indicate payments made to annuity contracts, employer’s scheme or pension schemes if after-tax deductions were made.

Charitable donations

If you made any Gift Aid donations to charities indicate the total sum under this section. You can also include total sums of securities, land gifts or shares donated.

Blind Person’s Allowance

Confirm if you’re claiming Blind Person’s Allowance or not.

Student loan repayments

Verify if you repaying a Student Loan or not and show deductions from your employer.

High income Child Benefit charge

If your income was over £50,000 in the last year and your receiving Child Benefit, fill this section leave it if you don’t fit the criteria.

Marriage Allowance

If your income was less than the Personal Allowance in the last tax year and you want to transfer some of the Personal Allowance to your spouse, fill this section.

How to complete the supplementary pages of a Self Assessment tax return?

The supplementary pages are for declaring extra income from Capital Gains if your self employed or earning income from the property. If the income your declaring is from:

  • Self-employment you need the SA103
  • Capital Gains you should fill the SA108
  • Property Income use the SA105

Self-employed (SA103)


Use the business income section to show your turnover if you are self-employed and earning money.


To show expenses incurred take note of that their two ways of declaring expenses for people with a turnover below and above £85,000 to know more visit GOV.UK website under HMRC.

UK property income (SA105)

Their two sections for landlords to fill under this section to first indicate overall income from all furnished buildings under rent in the UK while income for other buildings outside this area should be shown on other pages.

The second section is for total rent and revenue from all your properties.

Capital Gains (SA108)

You should state income from the residential and non-residential property plus shares and securities on this form.

Paying your Self Assessment tax bill

After submitting your Self Assessment tax return, you will be notified how much tax you will have to pay and how much you should contribute to the National Insurance Contributions if our self employed.

When do you need to pay?

31st January is the deadline for payment.

Can I pay my tax bill in instalments?

Instalments can be made for your next bill in advance when you make an arrangement through the budget payment plan that allows you to choose how much you can pay every week or month.

This is only available for the next bills, not previous ones.

How do I pay my tax bill?

To avoid penalties when close to deadlines, choose a faster way of settling your personal tax return such as using online banking or going in person. Other options available are bank transfers, cheque or Direct Debit.

What if I miss the deadline?

Deadlines incur penalties that can only be appealed if you have sensible excuses.

What if I make a mistake?

Any mistakes that you have made can be corrected before you officially submit the return and if the return has only been submitted you can make any changes before the deadline on filing.

Payment on account

If you have paid more than 80% of the tax owed, you will be asked to settle the remainder in your next tax bill through the payment on account.

Time to Pay service

The time to pay service is available if you have no debts or outstanding tax bills if your personal tax bill is between £32 and £30,000. You can also contact HMRC to see if you can qualify for the Time To Pay Scheme if you don’t meet the above requirements.

What if you can’t afford to pay your tax bill?

HMRC has the Business Payment Support Service for people who cant settle or afford to pay their tax bill. Call for assistant urgently, otherwise, you face interest and penalty charges.

Why use personal tax return software?

Accounting software can take away simple but crucial mistakes in calculations for your tax bill that often happens when you’re manually filling your returns. With the best software, you can have all the right forms in one place, automatically done calculations leaving you with peace of mind.

How many years can you go without filing taxes?

You can go up to 4 years without filling your taxes though every deadline missed attracts penalties.

What happens if don’t file taxes?

If you have received a tax return from HMRC but don’t file it and send it back, HMRC will charge you a penalty and can also send you a determination (an estimated tax bill) which can only be cancelled when you send in a return with the correct tax that is due.

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