Service: Taxation 

Can an accountant do your Self-Assessment?

16 Nov 2022

Filing your tax return is your responsibility. However, there are advantages to having an accountant to help you by offering their expertise and knowledge, as well as pointing out potential risks and giving advice and suggestions. 

What are my options for submitting a Self-Assessment?

You have the option to complete and submit the Self-Assessment by yourself, as long as you follow the procedure correctly provided by HMRC, and have provided all relevant information. Alternatively, you can seek help from others by appointing others to deal with HMRC on your behalf, however, you are still fully responsible for your own tax return.

Completing Self-Assessment on your own

If you find yourself in a situation where you are required to submit a Self-Assessment, but the affairs are simple and straightforward, you can choose to prepare your tax return on your own. This is usually the case where a taxpayer has straightforward income sources such as employment/interest income and is a UK tax resident.

If you want to prepare your own tax return, but you are not comfortable with the process i.e. knowing how to submit a self-assessment tax return, knowing when to file, and knowing when and how to pay any tax due, HMRC does give instructions and guidance to help you complete it.

Completing Self-Assessment by appointing someone

Whilst you may be more than capable of doing your own Self-Assessment tax return, you may prefer the reassurance of having an experienced tax advisor to assist you. This is especially important when situations arise and your tax affairs may be more complicated to deal with. Examples include - a sole trader who has income and expenses from a large or small business to report, a taxpayer with rental income, a taxpayer who receives substantial foreign income, or even all the above combined. This is usually where taxpayers will want to appoint an accountant to help with their returns.

Who can be appointed to deal with HMRC on your behalf? 

You can authorise someone else to deal with HMRC for you, for example, an accountant, friend, or relative. If you have to fill in a Self-Assessment tax return, HMRC will send all correspondence to the person you’ve authorised – except tax bills or refunds. Otherwise, HMRC will continue to write to you.

Authorising an agent to handle your tax affairs

According to HMRC, if you wish to appoint an agent to deal with your tax affairs, there is some information to keep in mind:

An agent can be:

  • A professional accountant or tax adviser
  • A friend or relative
  • Someone from a voluntary organisation
  • They must meet HMRC’s standards for agents.

To appoint an agent to deal with your tax, you must ask them to use HMRC’s online authorisation service or complete form 64-8 and send it to HMRC. This is something we do as part of our initial sign up process.

Advantages of a Self-Assessment accountant 

With the help of our experienced advisors, you will have peace of mind that your tax affairs are in good hands. Additionally, we can offer you advice on financial challenges you may be facing in your business, with the confidence that you are doing things correctly. We will go through everything you have provided, and present a coherent solution based on our expertise and knowledge. We will check your bookkeeping to ensure that all sales and expenditures have been identified correctly, and remind you of all correspondence, meeting any deadlines to avoid a penalty incurring.

Sometimes HMRC will raise questions about your tax return, this does not mean anything is wrong but it can cause you considerable stress and anxiety. We offer our clients the opportunity to subscribe to tax insurance which would cover our costs in the event of an enquiry being raised. This is only available on the basis we are involved in the completion of your tax return.

For more information on how we can support you in your next Self-Assessment, please get in touch with a member of our tax team.

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