Self-employment support: Filing your Self-Assessment tax return

This time of year can be stressful for the self-employed, as they try to complete their tax returns and pay their taxes before the usual submission and payment deadlines of 31st January. Pulling together all of your invoices and receipts from the year can often be a struggle. IPSE is here to make sure you have the information and advice you need to ensure that filing your return is as pain free as possible.

Time to Pay service: what you need to know

After a difficult year for everyone, the government has put in place some measures aimed at making the Self-Assessment process easier. It has introduced a ‘Time to Pay’ service, allowing freelancers to spread their tax bill over the course of the year. The government has also relaxed some of the rules surrounding the forthcoming Self-Assessment submission deadline.

IPSE welcomes both the ability to pay in instalments and the government announcement that, no penalty will be applied to returns filed before 28 February. While not technically an extension of the submission date, this gives some leeway to self-employed workers who will need to file late. But, these measures have caused some confusion as there has been no similar relaxation or leniency on the requirement to pay your tax bill by 31 January. Returns submitted late are usually subject to a £100 penalty, which this year will not apply until March, while interest is charged on taxes paid late and this will continue to apply as normal leading us to question how people are supposed to know how much to pay before they complete their return.

In light of this, IPSE is calling on the government to relax the rules on the payment deadline in alignment with the extension to submissions and would recommend to our members that you complete your return before the end of this month as normal, to avoid any problems or issues. Please see our latest press release for more information.

Where to find support and guidance for the Self-Assessment

If you are struggling to pay in full and want to apply for the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme, you can do so online via the gov.uk website.

If you have any concerns about these changes or any other issues relating to your tax return then a crucial benefit of your IPSE membership is access to our expert advice.

For queries about the paperwork, what to include and exclude, or the implications of the deadline extension, your IPSE membership provides you with free access to our Tax and Contract helpline, staffed with tax experts ready to assist you, just a phone call away.

You can find the Tax and Contract helpline number in the My IPSE area when logged into the website.

As always, if you have any questions about the above or any aspect of your IPSE membership, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the membership team either by email at [email protected] or by phone on 0208 897 9970.

Where can IPSE members find support?

Whether you are an experienced contractor or just starting out as a freelancer, your IPSE membership is a gateway to the best guidance, resources, and information to help you make your business a success.

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Meet the author

Patrick Carter

Membership co-ordinator at IPSE