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Income Tax Self Assessment

This section contains information on Income Tax Self Assessment Information. As with the other sections it is in no particular order.

If you have any questions, concerns or doubts about your Tax affairs you should consult an Accountant and/or the Inland Revenue.

Q. I need help filling out my Self Assessment Tax Return, who will help me?

A. Your Local Inland Revenue Business Advisor.

Hang on a minute. You mean I can call my local Tax Office and they'll help?

Yes! And its a free Service.

Inland Revenue Offices have Business Support Teams staffed by Inland Revenue Business Advisors who will come out to your premises and help you complete your Tax Return.

For more information call the Inland Revenue on 0845 6070 143.

Q. Every July and January I get hit with a huge bill for Tax and Class 4 National Insurance, what can I do about it?

A. Pay it. If you don't it'll only cost you more in interest charges and fines.

That's no help!

Well we interviewed John Lavelle, the MD of JQL, and asked him what he does.

"There are two certainties in life - Death and Taxes, and you can't avoid either of them forever. So, if you can't avoid them, you need to plan for them."

"The trick is not to think of it as 'your money'. It isn't! So get it out of your bank account and into a separate, interest bearing account as soon as possible. The fact of the matter is, that if you see a lump of money sitting in your account, you'll want to spend it on the latest go-faster stripe for the jalopy!"

"Every year I estimate what my Tax and Class 4 liability is going to be based on the previous year's accounts plus a bit for growth, the Chancellor and inflation etc." [if you go on the SA Workshop, the Inland Revenue gives you a Ready Reckoner to help you work it out - ed]. "Then every week transfer 1/52nd of that amount into a separate deposit account. That way, when the bill arrives, its still a shock, but at least I can pay it without difficulty."

"I use an ISA account to put some of the money aside, (though this may not be suitable for you). This allows me to earn tax free interest on it as well!".

"Blatant Plug. I mentioned Death And Taxes. We've covered Taxes, but did you know that JQL also produces a Will Writing program called 'Create Your Own Will'. It's available from all good computer shops like PC World, as well as Staples and direct from the UK distributors, Focus Multimedia (in the Productivity section - reference: ESS305). So we can help you plan for that eventuality as well."

Q. What other help can I get from the Inland Revenue?

A. Quite a lot actually.

You mean they're not Ogres? They won't eat me if I've made a mistake or don't know what to do?

No, we've found them to be quite human :-)  .

The Inland Revenue have found that if they help you then they have less problems. So they have set up The Business Support Teams to help you with your Small Business Tax Affairs.

To use their own words...

"Our local Business Support Teams provide support to new and small employers [and small businesses]. We can offer you detailed help on all aspects of payroll, explaining what you need to do, the deadlines you need to meet, the forms you need to fill in and the records you need to keep. We will talk you through any problems you may be experiencing."

They also offer Workshops - Group Education and Assistance (in official parlance).

"We have arranged a series of half-day workshops designed especially for new and small employers and business. Our Business Advisors have been specially trained to support you. They will help you to understand what you need to know and then take you through some case studies and practical examples. We cover the following areas:

Paying your Employees Paying Tax Credits
Calculating Director's NIC End of Year Returns
Statutory Sick Pay Becoming Self-Employed
Statutory Maternity Pay SA [Self-Assessment] for the Self-Employed
CIS for Contractors End of Year Return of Expenses and Benefits
CIS for Subcontractors IR35: Calculating the Deemed Payment
Collection of Student Loans Setting up a Limited Company
Paying Expenses and Giving Benefits to your Employees  

To find out more, or to arrange an appointment for a visit or workshop, ring the Helpline for New Employers (0845 6070 143), visit on the internet, or look out for local advertising."

John Lavelle, the MD of JQL, has attended some of the above courses and has found them very informative and extremely useful. They even supplied coffee and biscuits. His tip is: don't be afraid to ask questions.


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