13 min read
Automated calculations, pre-filled fields, and data import options in the Self Assessment tax return software significantly reduce the time taken to complete a tax return, especially for businesses with complex financial situations.
Top Self Assessment tax return software in 2023
Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company, these are the best tax return software options to complete your Self Assessment returns in 2023:
Designed for the everyday taxpayer, GoSimpleTax comes equipped with plenty of one-click shortcuts to help you prepare accurate returns. The best part – it helps you focus on only those aspects of the tax return that are relevant to you. If you are new to filing Self Assessment returns on your own, this tax return software will have you covered.
- Free tailored guide emailed to you after you register so you can get started right away without any hiccups
Automatic tax calculations that tell you any benefits or deductions you might be eligible for
- Receipt uploading system that captures and records details of paper receipts and invoices
- Expense categorisation system to sort out business and personal expenses
Prepare returns for free – only pay for submitting to HMRC
- A handy tool for creating and tracking invoices
- One-click shortcuts to fill up only those parts of the Self Assessment tax return that are relevant to your business
- Affordable plans for small businesses and sole traders
- Simple to set up and navigate
- Helpful customer service
- Wording on the Self Assessment tax return can be difficult to interpret in some situations
- Interface and responsiveness of the tool can be improved
- Can be difficult to use for expats to use
Plans for this tax return software start at £41.24 per tax year for the Individual plan (most popular option), inclusive of VAT.
- Tax estimates based on your uploaded transactions to help you budget in advance
- AI that benchmarks your expenses against those in similar businesses to tell you whether yours are above, below or at par with the average
- Auto-uploading of customer details for easy on-the-go invoicing and tracking
- Innovative receipt capture and real-time bank feeds
- Save hours of admin effort with real-time expense and income tracking
- Cloud-based tax return software to manage return filing on the go
- 7-day access to support from human agents
- Easy to set up and use
- Software can involve a learning curve for those unfamiliar with basic accounting concepts
- Plans can be expensive for businesses with more employees
Price plans start at £10 per month, exclusive of VAT. If you purchase now, you are entitled for a 90% discount.
3. Xero Tax
Xero Tax is one of the best-known tax return software choices for businesses alike. You can manage your tax returns and easily submit them to HMRC, especially when you sync up with your bookkeeping data on the Xero platform.
- Gather tax returns and reports to securely share with clients for digital signatures from within the tool.
- Secure data flow between books, accounts, and tax returns with minimum data entry required
- Access and e-sign documents from the portal and update their status in real-time
- Easy to populate tax return statements with bookkeeping data pulled from Xero
- Prepare and file company and personal tax returns
- Easily import bookkeeping data from Xero
- File taxes with HMRC directly from Xero Tax
- Streamlined accounts preparation even for those new to the process
- Difficult to use unless you also use Xero for your bookkeeping
- Limited customer support
Starter plans are at £15 per month excluding VAT. All plans have a 30-day free trial.
As a certified Xero partner, we boast a team of experienced accountants ready to assist you in transitioning your accounts to Xero, ensuring you fully harness its features.
Prepare to have enhanced control over your business with real-time financial insights. Log in from any location and any device, craft professional invoices, and sync with your business bank account for automated data retrieval.
Our Xero accountants are also on hand to provide regular management reports, offering clear insights into your business's performance on the platform.
TaxCalc is a tax return software that promises to make the tax filing process easy for businesses of all sizes. Its highly intuitive and feature-packed interface makes this a favourite among UK businesses.
- Unique validation tool to ensure that everything tallies and to address any potential areas of discrepancy
- Intelligent prompting tool to help you fast-forward to only the relevant parts of your tax return
- Covers multiple tax scenarios including foreign income tax relief and income from pensions
- Option to run TaxCalc on your business computer or on the cloud
- Fully updated with latest Self Assessment features
- Frequently updated with relevant HMRC forms to help you stay compliant
- Free unlimited support from experienced team members
- Powerful features on a simple interface
- Requires software installation that can initially take a bit of time
- Can be expensive for smaller businesses
Purchase the tool for £156 per year.
FreeAgent was designed to help small businesses file their Self Assessment returns directly to HMRC with zero hassle. Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director, this tax return software works in the background to ensure that you are always on time and compliant.
- Clear overview of liabilities so you know how much tax you owe at any time (ie no last-minute surprises)
- Detailed breakdown of your tax position, which you can use with some lenders if you are applying for a self-employed mortgage
- Tax Timeline that keeps an eye on upcoming deadlines and can be synced to your digital calendar
- Auto-population of the Self Assessment form based on data
- Free, if you have a business current account with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, or Ulster Bank NI
- Built-in support to understand what each step of the form means
- Auto-filling of data for an easier tax preparation process
- Dedicated phone and email support
- Plans can be expensive for sole traders or small businesses
- Software can occasionally be slow to load and enter data
- Sign-up process is quite lengthy
Plans start at £19 plus VAT per month, and for your first six months, you get 50% off. There is also a 30-day free trial for all plans.
Small UK-based businesses can rejoice – if your turnover is below £35,000 per annum, ZohoBooks offers you a free version of its tax return software! With features to cover everything from invoicing to VAT filing, it is an excellent way to stay on top of your tax returns year after year – while you are scaling your business.
- Dedicated accounting portal to manage transactions and journal entries in a consolidated way
- Insightful financial reporting to help you make better business decisions
- Reconcile recorded transactions with your bank feeds
- Option to set up multilingual invoices
- Easy VAT return generation
- Quickly and easily track your expenses and receipts
- Easy integration with multiple payment gateways
- Easy data sharing with multi-user functionality
- Android and iOS apps for on-the-go accounting
- Limited third-party integrations, hence difficult to use if you do not use other Zoho apps
- Lower user limits than many of its competitors
- Bank statements need to be manually imported
For small businesses, as we mentioned, ZohoBooks is free! If your turnover crosses £35,000 per annum, standard plans begin at £12 per month.
ClearBooks is a top-notch tax return software that makes Self Assessment easy and hassle-free for sole traders and landlords. You can now track and manage your transactions from one simple platform, saving you time and allowing you to focus on running your business.
- Powerful reporting software that generates simple reports to show where your business stands
- Auto-generated Self
- Assessment returns based on the sales and purchases you record
- Tax estimate displayed for an “at-a-glance” understanding
- Take pictures of receipts for automatic data capture
- Affordable tax return software option for small and medium businesses
- Easy-to-use and visually appealing dashboard
- Directly linked with HMRC
- Customer support can be improved
- Software can run slow at times
Plans start at £5.85 per month excluding VAT. You get a 50% discount for the first three months.
8. Dext Prepare
This is not a tax return software, but it is an excellent tool for handling expense management – and as such, fits in perfectly with your accounting needs! You can integrate Dext Prepare with your favourite tax return software to further lubricate your financial operations and free up your time.
- Upload invoices from bank feeds, emails or as drag-and-drop attachments
- Generate reports for real-time overviews of your business
- Set rules to manage and approve expense reports
- Scan and manage paper receipts on the go
- Collects and extracts paperwork with 99% accuracy
- Bank-level encryption to safeguard your data
- Automated data entry for greater efficiency
- Easy expense management on the go
- Can be difficult to classify expenses
- Data capture times can be slow
Plans start at £159 per month, with a 20% discount if you bill annually. You also get a free trial that is 14 to 30 days long depending on the plan you choose.