The best Self Assessment software

Superscript
03 June 2021
5 minute read

If you’re a sole trader, landlord, investor, director, side hustler or contractor, chances are you’ll need to submit a tax return. And while HMRC are making things easier with Making Tax Digital, understanding how to complete a tax return correctly can be confusing.

Luckily, there’s lots of self assessment software out there that not only makes it easier to submit your tax return through receipt capture and payment requests, but can also put you in touch with an accountant who will check it over for you before submitting.

The main differences between the tax software platforms is that some are made for year-round use, so you can keep on top of your tax and always see how much you owe in real-time, while others are simply made for assisting with submission. Whichever you prefer, all are designed to make submission to HMRC quick and easy.

Let’s run through the top tax apps on the market.

  1. untied
  2. Finmo
  3. TaxScouts
  4. Xero
  5. GoSimpleTax
  6. TaxCalc

tax return software table

untied

untied is a tax app that prepares, optimises, automates and files your tax return from your phone (there is also a browser version for those who prefer the larger screen). untied does everything end-to-end, from finding your income and expenses to filing your tax return directly. So that means you don’t need to worry about all the forms and calculations. The mobile app is especially useful for those who are always on the go.

How much does untied cost?

untied has two pricing packages:

  • untied lite: free 30-day trial, then £49.99 per year – ideal for gig workers, delivery riders and drivers.
  • untied pro: free 30-day trial, then £9.99 a month or £99.99 a year – ideal for freelancers, sole traders and self-employed contractors.

What are the features?

  • Journey logging
  • Categorise transactions
  • Submit your tax return directly to HMRC
  • Automatic tax and national insurance calculations
  • Connects to your bank account
  • Can link to an accountant if you have one
  • Access tax insights
  • Request payments from clients
  • Set up rules to put income and expense claims on autopilot
  • Supports self-employment, property income, salaries including company directors, capital gains and non-residence

Pros

  • Flexible monthly payment plan
  • Better value than some other tax return apps
  • Saves time through linking bank accounts
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Stress-free tax filing
  • Making Tax Digital
  • Mobile and desktop app
  • 30-day free trial

Cons

  • The lite version requires manual transaction input and journey logging

Interested in untied? Superscript members can receive 25% off an annual pro plan.

Finmo

Similar to untied, Finmo also has a cloud-based tax return app for desktop and mobile. It has handy prompts to help you fill out the right information and its Self Assessment tax calculator tracks your income and expenses to work out exactly how much tax you owe. Finmo differentiates itself by connecting users to an accountant to review their return.

How much does Finmo cost?

Finmo has two pricing options and a repeat customer discount:

  • Lite: access to the tax portal, chat to experts, 10 escalations, 1 review and submission for £119
  • Complete: same as Lite with the exception of a dedicated tax expert, more escalations and reviews for £199
  • Repeat: their Complete package for those using it a second time for £99

What are the features?

  • Track expenses
  • File your Self Assessment tax return
  • Personalised help from an accountant
  • Real-time tax estimates
  • Categorise transactions
  • Submission of tax returns on your behalf
  • Tax return reviews and revisions

Pros

  • Suitable for sole traders
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Costs less than a high street accountant
  • Easy to use
  • £100 off if you use the Complete plan for a second time
  • Makes filing tax hassle-free

Cons

  • Restricted use of some features on the Lite package
  • Doesn't capture receipts
  • Not suitable for limited companies

TaxScouts

TaxScouts’ main aim is to keep the tax return process as simple and stress-free as possible. They break down the jargon, give personalised help and offer plenty of information.

How much does TaxScouts cost?

TaxScouts charges £119 all in.

What are the features?

  • File your Self Assessment tax return
  • Information given is checked by a certified accountant
  • Automates tax estimates
  • Document scanning

Pros

  • Quick service
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Easy to use
  • One-time payment
  • Avoids admin-heavy tasks

Cons

  • Not suitable for small businesses
  • Limited features compared to other platforms
  • Those who need more comprehensive accounting software will not find this suitable

GoSimpleTax

The GoSimpleTax platform handles the preparation, submission and payment of your tax return. It lets you enter your incomes and expenses with receipt capture, offers a range of different tax forms with guidance and connects to the top accounting software platforms so you can integrate your information.

How much does GoSimpleTax cost?

Aside from the free version, which lets you play with the tool without submitting, there are two options:

  • Self-employed: £49 per year by subscription or £82 without, excl. VAT
  • Partnerships: £69 per year by subscription or £116 without, excl. VAT

What are the features?

  • Receipt capture
  • Self Assessment tax calculator
  • Tracks income and expenses
  • Deadline reminders
  • Error notifications
  • Categorise transactions
  • Create and send invoices

Pros

  • Free trial
  • Mobile app
  • Cloud based
  • Flags tax savings and reductions
  • Maxing Tax Digital ready
  • Free support
  • Directly submit to HMRC
  • Integrates with accounting software platforms

Cons

  • Pay extra for invoices, expenses and payment requests
  • Automatic renewal on subscription

TaxCalc

TaxCalc is designed to help you speed through your tax return. This tax return software is most suitable for those who already have their information to hand and just need to enter it into the system with a bit of help.

It fast forwards you to the parts of the tax return you need to fill out based on the information you’ve given. It can also automatically populates PAYE data through HMRC and self-employment information from accounting software such as Xero, QuickBooks and FreeAgent.

It will then guide you through the errors and omissions to make sure everything has been entered correctly.

How much does TaxCalc cost?

TaxCalc allows you to select what you need and buy add-ons based on your individual tax situation. The base price to submit up to six individual tax returns is £32.

Features

  • Guided completion of tax return
  • Directs users only to the pages they need to fill out
  • Import data from earlier years
  • Self Assessment tax calculator
  • Advice from their support team
  • Automatically saves as you go

Pros

  • Handles a variety of complicated tax situations
  • Unlimited telephone and email support

Cons

  • There’s no free trial option, so you’ll have to pay if you want to use the tax software
  • Not as user friendly as some of the other platforms
  • No mobile app
  • Not cloud based

If you need more comprehensive accounting software, check out our guide on the best accounting software platforms for small businesses and sole traders.


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