Being your own boss is one of the best feelings in the world. In fact, it's one of the main reasons people go into business for themselves. You get your freedom and independence - but you also get the taxman breathing down your neck every once in a while. It's not fun, but filing a Self Assessment tax return's just the cost of building your business.

It's not only the self-employed who have to do it, either. If you've been working PAYE and heading out to a lot of different worksites, you're probably racking up some serious travel expenses. If they total over £2,500 and you're claiming a refund, you'll need to register for  Self Assessment just to get it. Either way, you're going to need to get to grips with the scheme.

Remember To Plan For Self Assessment

Like everything else in construction, the key to it is great planning. HMRC's got strict deadlines for self assessment tax returns, so you need to be on your toes each year to avoid late filing penalties.

  • Keep copies of all your invoices and expense receipts, and make sure you can lay your hands on them when you need to.
  • Remember it's not just about your main income, either.
  • If you've got other money coming in from things like savings, that's going to have to be accounted for too. Make sure you know where your bank statement are.

What Are The Deadlines For Self Assessment?

The tax year ends on the 5th of April.

After that, you've got until the end of October to get a paper return to the taxman.

You can buy yourself an extra three months, and save a lot of hassle, by filing online by 31st of January instead

Generally speaking, that's probably the better option. Getting your form lost in the post is not a good excuse in HMRC's eyes. Also, the online system does some of the number-crunching for you, which can be helpful. Whichever way you choose, just don't leave it to the last minute.

Here's a full list of self assessment deadlines.

It's worth noting that the 31st January deadline is also the deadline for payment, so if you leave it until then you will have to be ready to pay up on the same day and there won't be time for any discussion if you think their calculations are wrong.

To be fair, the taxman's done his best to make the Self Assessment system as simple to use as possible. Even so, it trips a lot of people up. The rules change from time to time, as do the thresholds and allowances involved. You've got to keep your eye on the ball, because a mistake can cost you more than your money.

Can RIFT Do My Self Assessment Tax Return?

Of course we can! The good news is that if you submit your returns through RIFT, we'll do all the work for you. We always stay bang up-to-date on HMRC's regulations, which could mean more than just peace of mind.

In fact, 95% of our self-employed construction clients find that they're actually owed a refund on their taxes. On average, that stacks up to an average of £2,000 per year! Since we're RIFT Refunds, we even guarantee any rebate you get. If the taxman ever changes his mind, we'll pay him ourselves at no cost to you!

Don't get yourself bogged down in the stress and guesswork of Self Assessment. Give RIFT Refunds a shout, and let the UK's top tax experts carry the load.

Help With Registering For CIS?

Going from employed (PAYE) to self-employed (CIS) is simple with the right help.

There are some additional rules and regulations you'll need to know about, for example if you are a CIS contractor You’ll need to file monthly returns and keep full CIS records and you may get a penalty if you don’t, but we'll show you what to do and who to talk to.

When you’re self-employed as a sub-contractor under CIS, any money you earn will already have tax deducted (either 20% or 30%). When we do your tax return, we'll crunch those numbers for you, so don't worry about them now.

CIS covers most construction work to buildings, including site preparation, decorating and refurbishment but there are some exceptions. Visit the HMRC website to check in their guide for CIS contractors and sub-contractors.

There's no hassle, and we'll be with you every step of the way toward independence. We'll make the switch smooth and easy - and keep you on the right side of the taxman too!

You need to:

Register as a contractor if either:

  • you pay subcontractors for construction work
  • your business doesn’t do construction work but you spend an average of more than £1 million a year on construction in any 3-year period

Register as a subcontractor if

  • you do construction work for a contractor.

You must register as both if you fall under both categories.

When you first register as self-employed CIS, you’ll need to do three things:

  1. Contact Us
    We’ll send your free RIFT CIS Starter Pack with everything you need to keep good records in your first year. These are essential if you want to cut your tax bill.
  2. Get Registered
    We’ll call you at a time that’s good for you and together we’ll contact the CIS Registration Line. We’ll answer any questions you might have afterwards and talk you through National Insurance.
  3. Start Earning
    If you’re not properly registered, you’ll end up paying a lot more in tax. Call RIFT as soon as you go self-employed and you’ll keep more of your hard earned cash.

Have a look at our Switching To CIS page and see how we can help you.

What Should I Do If I Have Worked CIS and PAYE In One Year?

If you've worked part of a year under PAYE and part under CIS, don't worry we can still do your tax rebate and tax return for you. It's a little more complicated but you won't get any of that stress yourself, because we're here to help.