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When to submit your first tax return


So having started my self employed journey half way through a tax year and being both employed and now self employed, when do I submit my first tax return. The tax year just gone 2018-19 and submit 6 months worth of accounting figures, or wait until end of 2019-20 tax year and submit 18 months of figures?



If you’re self-employed, and you started during 2018, you need to register with HMRC to complete a self-assessment return for 2018-19, and when you complete the self-employed section, you’ll specify that you started trading on a specific date.

It’s easier if you set your company accounting period to match the standard accounting year of April to April, as your personal tax (any PAYE from an employer, capital gains, bank interest etc.) and your self-employed tax are one and the same as far as HMRC is concerned.

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Having also phoned HMRC, they say don’t submit it on the 2018-19 return but on the 2019-20 return. Confused!



That’s odd - were they thinking you meant corporation tax for a limited company?

If you’ve been self employed and employed in the same financial year, you won’t have paid enough tax, and they’ll fine you for late payment. For self-employed people, your business and your personal taxes are the same legal entity.

Check with an accountant, but I think HMRC have advised you wrongly here. (When I started as self-employed and employed at the same time, I filled in a tax return the same year with 6 months of accounts - as a higher-rate tax payer I was already filling in self-assessment returns annually to ensure I got the extra tax relief on pension contributions and gift-aid - so it was just a case of adding in the self-employed section).