Self-Assessment Tax Return: A Guide on How to Complete it 

The deadline to file your self-assessment tax return is approaching. It’s this time of the year for those who are self-employed.

The deadline for submission is October 2023, but it could be extended when you utilize the Revenue Pay and File system to both pay and file your tax returns through ROS (Revenue Online Service).

The extended deadline for Pay and File is set for 15 November 2023.

The deadline for returns by post has been extended to 31 October. However, Revenue has now made online filing compulsory for most taxpayers with a few exceptions. Therefore, it’s a non-issue.  

For your assistance along the road to the filing of your tax return, take a look at this guide for advice regarding self-assessment registration and filing your tax return.

It also addresses common errors to avoid and how cloud-based accounting software will help you stay in control of your numbers, making self-assessment a simple one.

This is what we will cover in the following article in detail:

  • How to sign up for self-assessment
  • How to fill out a self-assessment tax return
  • The tax rates
  • Common self-assessment mistakes
  • Late filing is penalized.
  • Final thought: Do not leave the filing of your tax return until too late.

How to sign up for self-assessment

But first, let’s get started. How do you sign up? Take these steps:

Step 1:  Find a ROS Access Number

First, you must apply online for the ROS Access number (RAN), which will be mailed to your address.

Step 2: Get your digital certificate

After receiving your RAN, you need to apply for an electronic certificate. This is done by entering your RAN’s ID on Revenue. i.e. filling out all applicable sections.

A ROS System password is sent out to your email address. With this password, you can access and download your digital certificate. You need to name and assign an account password.

Step 3. Keep your electronic certificate to gain access to Revenue Online Service (ROS)

After you have obtained your ROS Digital Certificate, you can log into ROS to file your tax return as well as pay your tax and access your account.

The registration process could take as long as ten business days, which means you must begin the registration process even if you’re not registered.

How do I complete a self-assessment tax return?

The name implies that you’re the one who determines the tax you have to pay, but ROS calculates it for you based on the data you enter.

You can claim some business-related expenses in tax relief, including heat, electricity, rent accountancy fees, and interest in business-related loans.

After you’ve registered, complete a Formula 11 on the internet.

The tax obligation you pay will be comprised of two components:

The remainder of income tax due in 2022

An initial tax obligation for 2023.

The initial tax is usually 90 per cent of the year’s deficit.

When you have a clear understanding of your entire liability, you can make your payment using ROS.

Although you aren’t required to provide supporting documentation like bank statements, invoices or receipts, it is essential to keep these documents. If Revenue decides to audit you, they’ll ask you to submit those documents.

With good cloud software, it will be possible to save your information all in one location and have everything prepared when you submit a self-assessment return.

The tax rates

Rates of tax remain the same for PAYE employees.

If you’re a sole proprietor, the first €40,000 will be subject to tax at 20%, and the rest is taxed at 40%.

If you’re married or part of a civil partnership, with only an income of one, then the first €49,000 will be taxed at 20% and the remainder at 40%.

If you’re married or part of a civil partnership with two incomes, and you’re doing an assessment in the joint,  It’s a bit more complex, but in general, the married couple pays lower taxes than single people; however, not by much.

Additionally, you must be responsible for USC (Universal Social Charge) and PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) in addition to your tax obligation. They are both deducted from your gross earnings.

A good thing for self-employed people is that, as of 2016, self-employed people are eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit.

It was introduced in some way even the playing field for those who pay for their salary and receive the tax credit from PAYE, which is EUR 1,775.

This year’s Earned income tax credit is EUR 1,775 for this tax year’s tax returns.

After your tax has been determined, ROS subtracts your tax credit to lower the amount you must pay.

See Also: How do AML Solutions Help Financial Companies to Deter Money Laundering?

Common self-assessment mistakes

Rory Coll, who runs an established accountancy firm, Coll & Co., Located in Galway, provides an overview of a couple of the most common mistakes self-assessing taxpayers face when filling out their tax returns.

“If that is the case, Revenue may apply up to a 10% surcharge to your income tax return, which may be quite penal, as it considers all your filings are late.”

Rory states: “Self-employed business owners may believe they are entitled to mileage or overnight allowances at the rates of civil service; however, this is only for employees.

Penalties due to late submission

A penalty for late filing is added to the tax due. If your tax return has yet to be filed within two months of submission, the fee is 5%.

If the tax is filed more than two years after the deadline for submission, the tax rate will increase by 10%. In addition, the interest rate will be imposed on the tax owed at around 10% per year.

However, perhaps more concerning than a tax penalty is that, if you’re in the process of filing taxes, that may trigger Revenue to conduct an audit of your tax returns regarding your financial records, which is certainly not something you’d like to bring to yourself.

Final thought: Do not leave the filing of your tax return until too late

On the deadline day, ROS could slow down because many self-assessed taxpayers of around 700,000 are trying to sign in.

Take the time to check that you have the correct numbers and all the necessary information, and complete your self-assessment tax returns within the timeframe you need them.

For additional guidance on tax preparation, tips, and useful resources, you can explore related content on platforms like RedGif.

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