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taxadvisor.uk, Chartered Certified Accountant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  FCCA - over 35 years experience as a qualified accountant (UK based Practitioner)
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I am employed as a research associate by the university of

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I am employed as a research associate by the university of Cambridge. As part of the university work, I used to (and planning to) do small group supervision sessions. I get paid for those a small amount of money per group that varies depends on how many sessions. It does not exceed £1500, or £2000 per year. I was a student till January 2015 so I thought I should report these amount of money so that it can be taxed. I called the taxes phone number, hoping that they will just ask for the total I had so far from these supervisions and calculate the appropriate tax ( this scenario happened to a friend who had the same situation). However, in my case the guy on the phone said I have to fill self-assessment tax form for the two years last year and this year. This happened this last April, and since I thought the process is too complicated, I got busy in other things. I got a letter this week that I have to pay a penalty of £100 for delayed reporting of last year's tax! My questions are:
1)Is this the only way to do it ? Can't I just report the amount of money yearly since these do not happen regularly.
2) how difficult is this self assessment ?
3) If I will have to do this self-report thing, are there specific expenses that I can claim to be deducted from my taxes? for example I heard that buying a university gown can be excepted from taxes as it is for work purposes. Also, can I claim back money that I send to my family at home (Egypt)? I am Egyptian working on a Tier 1 visa here in UK. My parents are retired and I help them from my salary here and I heard that it is possible to claim that money back from the taxes. Hope I made myself clear. Your help is appreciated. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  taxadvisor.uk replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I am here to help you. I will review your question and will respond to you shortly.

Expert:  taxadvisor.uk replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question and patience

If you are self-employed (even if just for part of the year) you need to register for self-assessment to enable you to file a tax return unless you are already registered and file your tax return. For freelance work covering small group supervision sessions you are deemed self-employed.

Registering is a relatively straight forward process and more information on this can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/register-for-self-assessment/self-employed

[q]

Is this the only way to do it ? Can't I just report the amount of money yearly since these do not happen regularly

[a]

If you are self-employed then you would receive aforementioned income gross in most cases. You will need to file your accounts on supplementary pages SA103 – self-employment along with the main tax return on an annual basis.

[q]

how difficult is this self-assessment ?

[a]

It is not that difficult if your tax affairs are fairly straight forward. There is help and plenty of guidance notes available on theinternet.

[q]

If I will have to do this self-report thing, are therespecific expenses that I can claim to be deducted from my taxes? for example Iheard that buying a university gown can be excepted from taxes as it is forwork purposes. Also, can I claim back money that I send to my family at home(Egypt)? I am Egyptian working on a Tier 1 visa here in UK. My parents areretired and I help them from my salary here and I heard that it is possible toclaim that money back from the taxes.

[a]

You can claim expenses against the income. These expenses should be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of your business. Buying a University gown in your example would be an allowable expense.

Other allowable expenses would include

Use of home – if you have to prepare for your groupsupervision sessions working at home

Telephone and internet charges – business portion

Travel expenses

For general guidance on what expenses are generallyallowable, please look at this link here

http://www.taxguideforstudents.org.uk/working/self-employed/working-out-profits-losses-and-capital-allowances/what-business-expenses-are-allowable

I am sorry to say but any monies you send to your family in Egypt is outside the scope of relief/allowance for income tax purposes.

I hope this is helpful and answers your question.

If you have any other questions, please ask me before yourate my service – I’ll be happy to respond.

taxadvisor.uk and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  taxadvisor.uk replied 1 year ago.

I thank you for accepting my answer.

Best wishes