By Tyler Boston

Filing a self-assessment tax return online as a joiner has never been easier. The HMRC has made it so skilled construction workers can file tax returns in just a few simple clicks.

Therefore, if you’re working for an employer with additional part-time, self-employed work on the side. Or if you’re a full-time sole trader looking to file your self-assessment tax return for the first time – this guide is for you.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll run through how to use the HMRC self-assessment website. I’ll also highlight some clever ways you can save yourself tax on work expenses.

Continue reading to learn how to set-up and file your self-assessment tax return:

  1. How to sign up for Self-Assessment on the HMRC website?
  2. What Expenses can I put through my Tax Return?
  3. Deadlines for filing a Self Assessment Tax Return
  4. Late filing/payment penalties
  5. How and when to pay my Self Assessment Tax Return?
  6. What Next?

How to sign up for self-assessment on the HMRC website?

Before you sign up for online self-assessment, you’ll need to register on the HMRC website. You can do that here – HMRC Register for Self Assessment

register for self assessment tax return screen northern accountants
GOV.UK Website landing page for Self Assessment Registration 

After you’ve made your registration, you’ll be sent your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). The UTR is unique to you. This is what the HMRC uses to store your personal tax details.

Once you have your UTR, you can then set up your Government Gateway account.

Setting up a Government Gateway account involves choosing a password, a unique reference number.

At this point, you’ll be able to log into your online gateway account to file your self-assessment and claim for expenses – and make pension and NI payments.

If you need help getting set up, we’ll be happy to help. Just call our office on 0113 218 9552

What Expenses can I put through my Self Assessment Tax Return as a Joiner?

As a joiner, there are many different expenses you can put through your self-assessment tax return.

Below is a breakdown of the different types of expenses you can put through as a Joiner.

1 – Materials used for work
2 – Workwear
3 – Business Travel expenses. For example, fuel and public transport.
4 – Subsistence allowance. For example, if you have to eat out when working away etc.
5 – Tools used for work
6 – Public liability insurance

The amounts of expenses you can claim will differ for each category. Such as materials, workwear, and business travel.

For example, the amount you can claim for mileage compared to using rail or public transport differs slightly. It’s 45p per mile when using your own vehicle (for the first 10k miles – 25p thereafter), yet you can claim the full amount when using public transport.

TOP TIP: Did you know that if your work van is out of service for whatever reason (repairs or a breakdown) – you can offset the full cost of the van rental for work against your tax bill, reducing your yearly tax.

If you would like more detailed information on the type of expenses you can claim, please send an email to Or call our offices on 0113 218 9552.

Deadlines for filing a Self Assessment Tax Return

The deadlines for filing tax returns depends on how you file it and which tax year you file it in. Below is an example of filing dates for the tax year 2019/2020.

  • Paper returns: 31st October 2020
  • Online Returns: 31st January 2021

For paying your tax return the deadline for this date is the 31st January 2021.

Late filing/payment penalties

You will get a penalty if you are late paying or filing your tax return.

If you are 3 months late filing your tax return, you will be fined £100. However, this will be more if it is later than that.

You will also be charged interest on any late payment or filing penalties – the longer you leave it the more it will be.

However, these penalties can be appealed if there is a reasonable excuse. To find out what is accepted as a reasonable excuse please see the HMRC website – Reasonable Excuses.

How and when to pay my Self Assessment Tax Return?

Paying your Self Assessment bill is made simple and can be done in 3 different ways.

1st Option

You can either pay online by debit, or credit card using this link to the government website here: Pay your self-assessment tax bill

When using this link, you’ll need to select the ‘Pay by Debit’ or ‘Credit Card’ options and follow the steps through the link. To do this, you’ll need your Personal UTR to make this payment.

2nd Option

You can also pay by bank transfer by visiting your online banking. The back of the payslip sent by HMRC will have the account details you need to pay your bill to.

However, if you do not have this payslip, then you can pay this to HMRC Cumbernauld (their default address). The bank details of this account are shown in the link stated above and by clicking on Bank details for online or telephone banking, CHAPS, Bacs.

3rd Option

You can also pay your Self-assessment tax bill by Cheque through the post. To do this you’ll need to state your Personal UTR number on the back of the cheque, followed by a K at the end.

This will be your paying reference, and if this is not stated correctly, or not stated at all, there will be a delay in paying your tax bill – which could lead to a late payment penalty.

The details you’ll need are:

Address: HMRC, Direct, BX5 5BD.

What Next?

To recap, you’ll first need to sign up for your UTR number.

Then, once you have your UTR number (which could take several weeks to arrive), you’ll then be able to set up your government gateway account.

Once in your government gateway account, follow the steps, adding in your personal details, expenses, and earnings. Then, the government gateway will automatically calculate your tax and NI that you’ll need to pay.

If you need help filing or setting up your account, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Northern Accountants.