Bookkeepers The Paper Tax Self-Assessment Tax Return – What you need to know.

International Association of Bookkeepers

The paper return deadline is this month, 31st October, therefore we thought it would be useful to invite Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax to explain how best to prepare your clients for the Self-Assessment tax return submission and file with confidence.

If your clients are new comers to submitting Self-Assessment tax returns, they should understand it pays to know that there are three ways of filing. Firstly, you can submit via the HMRC site and receive instant acknowledgement post-submission. You can also use commercial software to do this for you. Or, you can send a paper tax return to HMRC in the post.

Whichever method they choose, it’s important to understand their exact responsibility. For those who are self-employed sole traders or Landlords letting out UK property, paper submissions can be complicated as they involve additional forms and documentation.

  1. Be conscious of the deadline

Should your client choose to file a paper tax return, don’t forget to file before the 31st October deadline. We would recommend sending their paper submission prior to the October deadline, either through recorded delivery or with some proof of posting in order to prove your compliancy.

If they miss the deadline for submitting their paper return, don’t be tempted to file it late – you have until 31st January to complete one online. Just don’t submit both. You will be charged penalties from the 1st February for any late submissions.

  1. Organise supplementary pages

 Remember, it isn’t enough to submit the main SA100 tax return. Your client needs to bundle it together with the rest of their documentation that references their property or self-employment income.

For any income as a landlord, all that’s required is to file an additional form (SA105) and submit it alongside their regular Self-Assessment tax return.

However, with self-employment, the additional sections required of your client could be either the SA103S or the SA103F. The difference between the two is that the former is for those who had an annual turnover below the VAT threshold for the tax year (£85,000 as of 2019/20), and the latter is for those who earn above the VAT threshold.

  1. Be open to online and prepare for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax

While your client may have historically always submitted their tax return by paper, the vast majority of tax returns are now submitted online. Improvements in technology and the extra three months to file are the main incentives to submit an online tax return.

Having an online account with HMRC allows you to not only extend your filing deadline but also check your details at any time to see how much tax is due and act accordingly.

If your client is happy to tweak the way in which they keep their records and adopt digital record-keeping, this will help minimise admin further, as well as enable you to submit their tax returns and automatically calculate the tax.

Going forward as of April 2023 your client will have to file their self-assessment digitally to HMRC providing updates every quarter via a digital platform.

Preparation is key, adopt the right approach now it could save both time and money, make the move to digital ahead of the deadline for MTD for Income Tax.

About GoSimpleTax

 Trial the software today for free – add up to five income and expense transactions per month and see your tax liability in real time at no cost to you. Pay only when you are ready to submit or use other key features such as receipt uploading.

IAB members receive a 20% discount – to get your discount code simply sign-up to try our software above and it will be emailed to you. Volume Discounts are available.

Further more, IAB members who sign up to try the software throughout October 2020 will be eligible for a free one to one session providing an insight to our software and answering any questions you may have – sign up now or contact


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