abc self assessment

Submission steps in detail

  1. Have a government gateway username and password for the individual or partnership you are submitting a tax return for
    • You can check that the username and password are correct and for the individual/partnership by logging in to the government gateway
    • If you don’t yet have a Government Gateway account, you can follow the link on that page to register
    • Note that to submit a return for a partnership you must have dedicated Government Gateway account for that partnership - you do not use your account as an individual
  2. Activate the relevant online service (i.e. Self Assessment for the individual or partnership). 
    • The HMRC process for this involves sending you an activation code in the post - you then log in to the government gateway website and enter that code
    • You can check that the service is activated by logging in to the government gateway
    • For an individual, you should see Self Assessment as one of the areas you can access, with an option to complete a return
    • For a partnership you should see ‘Self Assessment’ list under available services
    • Unfortunately we can’t fully detail where to look in the HMRC site since it changes and different users can see different versions of the site.
  3. Download the relevant ABC application from our downloads page
    • For individuals, download ABC SA100; for partnerships download ABC SA800
    • Download the version for the year you want to submit return for - the most recent tax year appears at the top of the page, previous years are lower down in descending year order
    • Our software is available for Windows or Mac
  4. Install the application on your computer
    • Usually, clicking the relevant ‘Download’ button will save the installer file on to your computer and you then run that installer e.g. by double-clicking it.  Depending on your computer and browser you may be given the option to run the installer from where it is, which will also work.
  5. Open the application
    • On Windows, how you do that will depend on which version you are using - it will either involve a Start menu or typing in to a search box for 'ABC SA'
    • On a Mac look in Applications for ABC SA100 or ABC SA800, or use Launchpad to search
  6. In the popup that appears, enter a name for your tax return and click ‘Continue'
    • This name is only used locally (not sent to HMRC) so can be anything you like. Entering your name is the obvious choice.  
    • The reason you give your tax return a name is so that you can have several returns (e.g. yourself and a partner) and be able to choose which one to open
  7. Work through filling out the form.
    • The easiest way to do this is to use the ‘Next’ button to work through the whole thing.
    • In some cases, ticking a box (for example in a section like ‘What makes up your return’) will result in a new section being added to the return. You wil see the new section appear in the Table of Contents when you tick the box.  You can either jump to that section using the Table of Contents, or carry on using the Next button and you will be taken through all the pages in turn.
  8. When you reach ‘Validation status’, fix any errors that are listed by clicking on the link, making the change required, and using the ‘Back’ button to go back to the list.
  9. Once you have completed the form and fixed any errors you can submit to HMRC by clicking the ‘Submit to HMRC’ button.
  10. If you have not done so already, you must now purchase a license key for our software - which you can do on our website, paying by credit card or PayPal.  
    • As soon as you have made the payment, the checkout screen will give you a license key code for you to copy and paste in to the application where directed.
    • You will also be emailed the license key code - but make sure you check your spam folder in case it ends up there.
  11. After activation you can submit to HMRC - at which point you will be prompted for your government gateway username and password
    • Note that if the username and password is not< the one associated with the individiual or partnership you are submitting for, or if the Self Assessment service is not activated, submission will fail with an authentication error
  12. Our software sends your data directly to the HMRC server, and the communication between the two ends can take a minute (or more in very busy periods such as the end of January).  You will receive updates as this progresses, and it will end with a ‘Submission successful’ message which includes an ‘IR mark’ which is a long code that effectively acts as a digital receipt.
  13. You can then export your entire return out to PDF so you can store it as a backup, share it and or print it out
    • If you are submitting for an individual, this document will contain a summary of the tax calculation (known as the SA302).
    • For the partnership return there is no calculation because the partnership itself does not have a tax liability - the income from the partnership must will be included in the individual returns of the patners, where it will contribute to their individual tax liabilities.
  14. Approximately 72 hours after submission, the tax return will be visible on the HMRC website i.e. when you log in to the government gateway you will be able to see that a return has been received and the top-level numbers
    • Note that HMRC do not support obtaining the SA302 (Individual tax calculation summary) from their website - you can obtain one from our software by exporting the complete submission to PDF (the SA302 is near the end of that document)

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