How To fill in the Tax Return Online in the UK For Bloggers

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I’ve been blogging for a while, but this year is the first time I’ve needed to fill in the tax return by myself.

It was a very scary situation because time ago I got a fine for £1,000 from HMRC (which I sorted out because it was a mistake from them).

The thing is that I like to do things properly, so I didn’t want to have any mistake in my application.

After some time researching and with some help from PiiGirl, I’ve filled my Tax Return.

In this post, I will explain how to do it. So you can follow step-by-step how to fill in your Tax Return if you are living in the UK.

Who Is This Guide Targeted To?

Bloggers or people who are making money online, who are starting and are lost in how to fill in the Tax Return.

This guide will be useful for people who never filled in the Tax Return before.

Important things to consider

This guide will be useful for you if:

  • You are living in the UK.
  • You have registered for self-assessment online.
  • You are doing your Tax Return online.
  • You are not an employee of a company (if you are, there are some little modifications).

Be aware that the deadline to complete the Tax Return online is the 31st January.

Let’s go with the steps:

#1 Log in to self-assessment

Go to https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/self-assessment and log in with you user ID and Password.

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You will be asked for an Access code which will be sent to your phone number.

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Enter it and you will appear in your Self Assessment account.

#2 Fill in your return: Tell us about you

This section is very easy. Make sure you fill in all your personal information correctly. Review it a couple of times, in particular, the National Insurance Number.

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#3 Fill in your return: Tailor your return

Tailor your return: Page 1 of 3

To account for your blogging, affiliate or any other income you don’t have to set up a company or employ yourself.

It is enough to set up yourself as a sole trader through registering for self-assessment.

You can register a Ltd. company of course, but as I have been recommended, at the beginning while the income is small it is much easier to report it as personal income from sole trading than to run a company accounting.

If you are not employed anywhere else and you are only getting income from your own business at Page 1 you should tick only self-employed (no employment).

So you don’t need to fill in the P60 or P45. These two forms (P60 and P60) should be filled by employers for their employees.

Since you have not created a limited company and have not set up yourself as a director or employee, this does not apply to you.

Where they ask you about foreign income, this doesn’t apply to your online business income from blogging abroad (like Amazon US affiliates).

In “Business Name” you can use your own name.

See the image below for reference:

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Tailor your return: Page 2 of 3

This page is very straight forward. In most of the cases, you will select all “No”.

If you are getting any other income, please choose other option accordingly. It will ask you to fill in all of them separately at the end.

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Tailor your return: Page 3 of 3

This page will keep you asking questions. In most of the cases you will select “No”. However, if you donated to charity or any other things, please click “Yes”.

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#4 Fill in your return: Self-employment

Self-employment: Details (Page 1 of 2)

You will need to select the circumstances that apply to your self-employment. In none of them apply, select the box “None of these apply” (which is the most common in most of the cases).

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Self-employment: Details (Page 2 of 2)

Business name is the same as indicated in the step #1, use your name.

Business description: just add a small description, in my case I wrote “Web developer”.

You will have to enter the date you started your business if it was after the beginning of the tax year (April 2015 for the example in the image).

For the business address, you can use your home address since you are blogging.

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Self-employment: Accounting details

Before you enter your income, they will ask you if you want to use a “cash method” for your accounting. The difference between cash and regular accounting is how you account your income.

With the cash method you account the income and expenses only when they actually are paid to you or by you.

With regular accounting you have to account all the income at the point they arise even if it is not yet paid to you.

For me, it made sense to choose “cash method” as I am receiving the money from Google AdSense and AdSense takes 2 months to pay to you. So even though I started getting a few pennies from AdSense back in 2015 November, AdSense only credited it to my account in 2016 January.

So for the return up to the 5th April 2016, I entered only income from November, December and January. February and March were credited after the 5th April 2016. So, I will account them next year.

In the date your books or accounts are made up to use the last day of the tax year, in this example the 5th April 2016.

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Self-employment: Income

In this example, I will put that the income I made from blogging is for example £2,350. So from here, you will see this number a few things in the images below.

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Self-employment: Capital allowance and balance charges

I left it blank because it didn’t apply to me. Most likely it doesn’t apply to you either.

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Self-employment: Other tax adjustments

I left it blank because it didn’t apply to me. Most likely it doesn’t apply to you either.

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Self-employment: Losses

I left it blank because it didn’t apply to me. Most likely it doesn’t apply to you either.

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Self-employment: Tax deducted

I left it blank because it didn’t apply to me. Most likely it doesn’t apply to you either.

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Self-employment: Class 4 NICs

You are exempt from paying Class 4 NIC’s if you are under 16. Otherwise, in most of the cases you will need to pay it.

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Self-employment: Any other information

Leave it empty, but if you feel better by telling something, please do it.

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Self-employment: Summary

In the summary, you will see all the important figures. Make sure everything is matching.

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Class 2 National Insurance Contributions

If your income from self-employment does not reach £5,965 a year, you will not have to pay it, unless you want to make voluntary contributions.

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Underpaid tax and other debts (Page 1 of 2)

This page tells you how much you need to pay for the tax year. Since for this example we earned less than £5,965, the underpaid tax is £0.00.

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Underpaid tax and other debts (Page 2 of 2)

This page tells you how much you need to pay for the tax year including in PAYE coding. Since for this example we earned less than £5,965, the underpaid tax is £0.00.

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Overpaid tax: Overpaid tax

In case, that the HMRC needs to pay you, you need to indicate it.

See the image below for reference:

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Overpaid tax: Repayment

Then you will need to include your bank details.

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Not paid enough tax

This is applicable only if you have a PAYE tax code (which is not required).

The PAYE tax code allows the HMRC to take money from your account.

If you own money, they will notify you via email. Then you can pay with a bank transfer.

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Adjustments to tax due

I left it blank because it didn’t apply to me. Most likely it doesn’t apply to you either.

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Any other information: Page 1 of 2

Select “No”. You need to make sure that the numbers in the sections before are right just in case.

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Any other information: Page 2 of 2

This section allows you to add comments and attachments.

If your accounts have a lot of payments, it will help if you attach it (an Excel sheet is enough).

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#5 Check your return

You will see something similar to the image below.

Make sure all the sections have a green tick, otherwise, you will not be able to continue.

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#6 View your calculation

This section will show you the total amount due for the previous tax year.

If your income is low, it will be £0.00

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#7 Save your return

This section allows you to save your return in different formats.

I recommend you to download at least the pdf copy for your records.

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#8 Submit your return

The only thing you need to do here is to check the box and to review one more time that all the information is all right.

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Congratulations!

Voalá! You did it!

You just submitted your tax return!

It was that difficult, right? After all, it was possible to explain everything in less than 2,000 words.

And this is not the best. The best part is that you can ask any question in the comment box below and I will make sure to answer as soon as possible.

I really hope that this guide will help you filling in your Tax Return!

 

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About Francisco Anes 80 Articles
Francisco Anes is a personal finance blogger who loves blogging and spending time with his family. He works from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday but his dream is to reach financial freedom. On his blog, he writes about saving money, budgeting, pay off debt and making money blogging. Francisco lives with his family in Cambridge, UK.

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