Well October is upon us which means that Autumn has now well and truly arrived (as proved by the weather this week!). The flip flops and summer dresses have now been packed away to the back of the wardrobe and our thoughts turn towards such things as Christmas, warm winter fires and……. self assessment.

Self Assessment, two words that send shivers down so many peoples’ spines. But for most people that have to complete and submit annual self assessments it is quite a straightforward process. The main thing is to be organised.

Several years ago HMRC introduced an online submission for self assessment. This means that completing the form has become much simpler. Based on a list of questions at the beginning of the process, only the forms you need to fill in will be available. The online system also works out your tax liability/rebate for you. The other main advantage is that the deadline for online submission is 31st January the year after tax year end (5th April) rather than 31st October for paper ones. Although payment of any tax liability is still 31st January for either way of submitting.

Whether you decide to submit your return online or by paper make sure that before you sit down to complete the form that you have everything you need. For self assessment you need to make sure that you have all the relevant information about any income you have received in the tax year. Income includes employment income, sole trading profits, interest from savings, dividend payments, property rental income, pension income, benefits from employment, some state benefits and capital gains. There is a very useful link (below) from gov.uk which explains what is taxable in understandable language.


If you are a sole trader don’t forget to make sure that you only pay tax on taxable profit not on your total income and make sure to include all your tax reliefs.


The website guides you through each area of income and allows you to also submit any tax you have already paid (e.g. through PAYE) before calculating your final tax liability and giving you instructions as to how to pay.

So to DIY or not? If your self assessment is fairly straightforward, as always with most DIY projects, it is more to do with whether you have the time and inclination to DIY. If you do that’s great. If your self assessment is more complicated and involves such things as tax reliefs and capital gains it may be wise to get professional help.

As always if you have any queries about this or any other accounting issues or want any further information do feel free to contact me :


or visit my website


Have a great month and keep dry.