Reassessing Self-Assessment

The UK is becoming an enterprise nation - so what are the tax opportunities?

There’s a lot of talk of how enterprising UK professionals are. Freelancing, start-ups, side hustles – it seems the entrepreneurial spirit is taking the country by storm.

According to the ONS, between 2008 and 2016 the number of self-employed people grew by 36% - and some figures are predicting that 50% of the workforce will be self-employed by the end of 2020.

One part of having a more ‘individual’ professional practice is, as ever, having to sort out the tax that goes with it. So we took a deep dive into the Unbiased database to see how this reflects in the enquiries you’ll be receiving.


The Enquiries

Over the past six months, ‘self-assessment’ has become the largest area of advice for all tax enquiries – making up 31% of the total.

To put this in perspective, the second largest area is ‘income tax’ at 25%. Considering how all-encompassing this key term is, the fact it’s now second to ‘self-assessment’ says a lot.

So how best to communicate with these potential clients?

The favourite method of advice for self-assessment enquiries is online. And of course, any work you need to do in terms of sorting your client’s self-assessment can be reviewed and submitted online too.


Finding the Opportunity

Despite the increase in enquiries, there remains a large number of people who fail to hit the deadline.

Following the previous tax deadline, 731,000 people didn’t get their taxes in on time – each being hit with an immediate £100 fine.

This means there’s still plenty of opportunity for this growing sector to grow further. So when you sit down with a new client, it’s worth finding out whether they’ve got all bases covered.

Most people understand that they must submit their own taxes if they’re self-employed, or do extra freelance work. But do they know all the other reasons why they might be liable to submitting this?

Do they have a pre-tax investment income of £10,000 a year? Are they a trustee of someone who’s passed, or a minister of a religion?

And as they don’t know what they don’t know, they won’t bring this up themselves. So to take your share of this growing market, it’s always worth double-checking.


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