What Documents to Keep as a Self-Employed?

Mohit Baheti | Debitam By Mohit Baheti |
What Documents to Keep as a Self-Employed | Debitam - Online Account Filing

The short answer to this is not all of it, but it`s better to narrow it down a little bit.

As a self-employed individual, it is crucial to keep accurate and organized records of your business activities. This not only helps you stay on top of your finances but also makes the process of filling out your self-assessment tax return much more manageable and helps you to brag about it towards other self-employees.

HMRC has a general guide in keeping tax records if you need to look up a document in more detail.

The realm of documents is complicated though and you may end up being a version of a receipt hoarder if you don`t differentiate directly related documents to your self-assessment tax return from non-essential ones.

In this blog post, we`ll try to answer whether you should keep EVERY document that has a number on it throughout a tax year as a self-employed or not.

Personal Details

  • Personal Identification Documents such as a passport, driver's license, or national ID card. These will be required when creating or accessing your self-assessment account online. Make sure to keep these documents up to date so that you can access your account without any issues. Always keep it with you.
  • National Insurance Number (NINO) is another crucial document that you must have as a self-employed. It is used for identification purposes and to calculate your National Insurance contributions, which are payable based on your business profits. Directly related to your self-assessment tax return.
  • Marriage Certificates or Civil Partnership Documents are essential if you have changed your name in the past, albeit not directly related to your self-assessment tax return.

Financial Records

Bank and Credit Card Statements

are essential for tracking your business income, expenses, and cash flow. Make sure to keep these statements organized so that you can easily access them when needed. This includes payments that you make into your business bank account from your personal bank account.

Invoices and Receipts

are crucial documents as they serve as proof of your business transactions. They should contain details such as the date, amount, and client information. Keep both electronic and hard copies of these records.

Business Contracts

are important if you have clients or partners. These documents outline the terms and conditions of your work agreements and can be used as evidence in case of disputes or disagreements.

Mileage Logs

are necessary if you use your vehicle for business purposes. These logs should include the date, destination, reason for travel, and total mileage. They will be required to calculate your tax-deductible expenses. You may want to look at our comprehensive Business Mileage Allowance and Business Mileage Tax Calculator

Insurance Documents

are important if you have business insurance. Keep these records handy in case they are needed to support any claims or for tax purposes.

Documents For Foreign Earnings

If you have been self-employed while living abroad, make sure to keep the following documents:

  • P45 or P60 if employed in the UK before becoming self-employed. These forms outline your total income and taxes paid during your employment.
  • Documents related to foreign earnings, including invoices, receipts, bank statements, and any other relevant financial records.
  • Dividend Vouchers if you are a company director and receive any dividends from your business.
  • Tax deductions in the UK you can claim once a year.

Documents Related to Pension & Benefits

Any documentation and/or claims related to the Department of Work and Pension like statutory sick pay, maternity allowance, paternity leaves and housing benefits. These documents are not directly related to your self-assessment tax return but can still impact your finances.

Anything that proves that you receive state pension.

Self Assessment Student Loan Repayment documents.

Child Benefit documents and more that you can find it here

How Can Debitam Help You?

Under the government`s Making Tax Digital scheme, all these documents should be kept under digital security and financial technology is increasingly becoming a "must" in every kind of tax return every year.

We are an online tax return service, dedicated to filing taxes and assisting self-employed individuals and freelancers in tax matters. We are fairly flexible in using almost every software in the market as well as our own. Having filed over a thousand self-assessment tax returns since July 2023 and still counting, our team is prepared for any scenario of financial information, in short, no documents is too complex for us.

We also recommend you to file your self-assessment as early as possible, see the 8 reasons why you should file it early here

All you need to do is to give us a call and chat with us on our website to start. We will handle the rest! So, stay organized and stress-free by keeping all these essential documents and let us take care of your self-assessment tax return for you. Whether you are a sole trader, freelancer, or company director, we have got you covered. Let us make this tax season hassle-free for you. Keep calm and file on with Debitam.

Mohit Baheti | Debitam By Mohit Baheti |
Note: Please note that the content of the above blog and the aforementioned information are solely for the purpose of awareness and are informative in nature. The content is designed with intent to ease the understanding while preserving the essence and importance of the compliance rules and shall not be considered as an ultimate replication of the rules. Debitam does not own any responsibility whatsoever for any unpleasant event that may arise due to the misinterpretation of a specific part or whole of the information.

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