Getting ready for your self assessment return

So you need to complete a self assessment tax return?

Whether you are looking to do everything yourself, or your accountant has been in touch asking how you are getting along, this article will look at some of the basic bits of preparation you should be considering.  If you are using an accountant being prepared will help keep your fees in check.


For any employed positions you have held during the tax year, the key pieces of information will be:

  • details of your taxable income and tax paid under PAYE – either in your P45 if you left before the end of the tax year, or your P60 if you didn’t.  Your current employer must give you a P60 by 31 May after the tax year end;
  • details of any benefits you received that were not payrolled – form P11d.  Your employer must submit this by 6 July after the tax year end;
  • any employment-related expenses you may have incurred yourself – such as professional subscriptions, or business mileage records if your employer didn’t reimburse you at the HMRC approved rates.

Self Employment

If you run your own unincorporated business you (or your accountant) will need to draw up accounts in order to work out how much income, expenditure and taxable profit to declare.  If you are in partnership, the same applies – but your own tax return will only need to include your share of the partnership figures.  If you don’t keep these accounts up to date during the year, you will need to consider the following:

  • bank statements – it will save you a lot of time (and fees if you ask your accountant to help) if these are in electronic format (downloaded from your internet banking) – but failing that the paper statements are perfectly fine;
  • copies of sales invoices;
  • copies of purchase invoices;
  • petty cash records;
  • copies of VAT and PAYE filings if relevant;
  • mileage records for any vehicles you use for your business (total mileage and business mileage, unless you are using HMRC rates per mile for business mileage only).

Property income

In many respects the records you will need are similar to those for self employment:

  • bank statements;
  • details of rental income received;
  • details of expenditure incurred, including receipts (or agent’s statements if relevant).

Other income or reliefs

Whilst not exhaustive, the following are the most common considerations/documents:

  • details of bank or other interest received (your bank will produce tax year summaries);
  • vouchers for dividend income;
  • details of pension contributions made if tax relief was not given via your employer’s payroll (the pension provider will produce a summary of contributions);
  • details of donations made under gift aid arrangements;
  • if you or your partner claim child benefit, and you are the higher earner with total income of 50,000 or more, details of child benefit received;
  • if you sold property (other than your main residence), shares or other assets, details of those sales and the costs you paid to acquire the assets in the first place.

As with many things to do with tax, everyone is different and exactly what you need to include will vary according to your circumstances.  Therefore the above lists are not intended to be exhaustive and if you are in any doubt about what do to please seek advice.  Jameson Accounting would be delighted to hear from you via our contact form on this website, or by calling 07974 825093.  We will always offer you an initial meeting free of charge and with no obligation.