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Reassessing Self-Assessment

2 mins read
by Oliver Broadhurst
Last updated Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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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Oliver Broadhurst
Oliver has been writing professionally in the financial services space for over five years, focusing on topics ranging from customer experience to industry regulation. He’s consulted with organisations such as UK Finance and the FCA to produce business articles, industry reports, and white papers, while providing insight as a member of panels including The Opening Banking Implementation Entity’s Consumer Group.