Emily Coltman, chief accountant at FreeAgent, has published two useful self-assessment checklists – aimed at limited company contractors and freelancers.
Given that ‘flexible’ workers operate via a number of different business models – sole traderships and partnerships (favoured by freelancers), and limited companies (professional contractors) – each guide has been tailored to the requirements of each structure.
If you are a company director, you must register for self-assessment, unless you run a non-for-profit company (such as a charity), or if you were a director of a dormant limited company during the tax year.
If you have registered as self employed, and meet the HMRC definition of a ‘trading’ person, you will have to fill in a tax return. If you are a member of a partnership, each partner has to fill in a return, and the partnership itself has to submit a return.
For all individuals, the guide explains which business expenses can be legitimately claimed. The limited company guide explains how salary and dividend payments should be recorded.
For all taxpayers, you should ensure that you include all relevant non-business income you have received during the tax year, including bank interest, investment income, property income, and any Capital Gains Tax payable on asset disposals. From next year onwards, HMRC will also use the self assessment form to collect any Child Benefit repayments, where relevant.
The checklist will enable you to complete all sections of the relevant tax return, including how to register to use HMRC Online Services (you should allow plenty of time to receive an activation code, otherwise you may miss the January 31st deadline).
You can download both guides from the FreeAgent site here (PDF).