Self-assessment tax calculations

HI all,

I am preparing to sort tax for the next year but I haven’t done this before (and actually only realised recently that I need to do self-assessment tax for tutorful work…doh!). Anyways, I just wondered if anyone had any tips on doing so?

I assume I will have to show income, can this be via bank statements or statements just screenshotted from our profiles/portals on the tutorful website?

How have people found this process in relation to their tutorful work. Thanks!


Hi I am definitely going to follow this as I am in the same position (it is only my first year tutoring though so all of this is new to me). I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the advice!


I find it incredibly hard. My advice is to keep a record of all your income (Tutorful is a godsend for that, as you can just search for all the income in the tax year) but other tuitions I keep a record of on Excel. The tricky bit is working out expenses: ideally, you’d have receipts for everything but it’s not possible, so sometimes you have to guess. It’s not as hard as it seems and it’s very straightforward going through the form. There’s lot of support if you need it. Wishing you the best of luck!


I’ve never needed to show bank statements/screenshots, but worth having them in case you need to.


Thanks so much for your insight! That’s really helpful.


Hi Danielle,

It is not as daunting as it seems. The income bit is actually the easy part because on the Tutorful website you can go to Earnings tab and use the little calendar icons to select the dates and it will automatically calculate the income for you.

When you do the self-assessment there will just be a box where you type the total amount you earned and that’s it. I never had to upload any screenshots or bank statements.

I think the more time-consuming bit (at least for me) is answering the 100 or so questions to which the answer is usually NO because they are for self-employed people who are in completely different situations like property investors or artists or religious ministers etc.

In my experience by the time I need to do self-assessment again, I will have completely forgotten how to do it so I keep a Word document with all the information I may need:

  • UTR
  • Government Gateway number
  • National Insurance number
  • Previous addresses (with rough move in and move out dates)
  • Whatever else you need depending on your circumstances

Each year the clueless me thanks myself for that document :joy:

Since it’s your first time doing the self-assessment, I think you need to register first. It takes a couple of weeks to get a letter with (I think) the UTR that you will then need to start the self-assessment. You can read more about it here.


Anna, that’s a really handy tip for looking at total income for the tax year - thank you every so much for your response!

Another helpful tip to make a word doc with the info in, will definitely take this on board. Again, thank you so much.


The big one for me is mileage for face-to-face tuition. You get an allowance of 45p per mile for fuel, and for the 2019/2020 tax year that accounted for almost £5000 of tax allowance!

This year obviously it doesn’t matter, but for future keep a close track of how far you drive!


Thanks Richard. Yes, actually since moving online I much prefer it for many reasons and so I think i’ll stick with it (although I have seen Tutorful are moving 100% online anyway).


I use an excel spreadsheet which you can generate and download from your bank’s website directly and compare with the earnings tab (like @AnnaDuncanScience suggested).

You have to keep it as a record for 5 years but most likely you won’t have to submit anything


Thanks Julia, how do you download it from the earnings tab?

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Whoops sorry I meant you can use the calculation from the earnings tab.

To download the data from your bank, just go into your online statement and input the dates (so the previous tax year) and I usually search for Tutora, to find all the payments. If you get any payments from anyone else, you can add their names to the search. Once it’s found the results you can download this directly to a csv and it will be formatted for you already. :slight_smile:

Then compare the calculations with that on the earnings tab for all your tutorful payments.


Oh yes, I see! THanks so much, you’ve all really helped this seemingly daunting process!


I use Google Sheets to keep a record of every hour of tutoring.

Google Sheets is ideal if, like me, you don’t have Excel. A row would contain something like date, student, amount, hours. I use this to populate a summary table using “sumifs” to show totals for each month.

I have something similar for expenses. It makes the process a bit easier when the time comes.


Plus the usual problem of remembering the password.

I have found the on-line HMRC system incredibly easy to use.
The hardest part for me has been hitting the submit icon at the end.
One year I got up earlier than normal and submitted 2 tax returns before breakfast


I personally rate the use of a business account or separate bank account. I use Starling which has a free business account (if I remember correctly but I’ve been with them a while and use the paid for version). It obviously won’t help this time, but keeping my business and personal transactions separate has saved me many hours.

I find a combination of quick books and tutorbird amazing for tracking my finances and students, although I previously used to do this in excel.

I’ve been doing this for 7 years and I’ve never had to show proof, but if I did I would use my bank statements and excel spreadsheets. A lot of the time you will be filling in zeros or clicking no, even though it looks very complicated once you get going it’s pretty easy. I keep all my receipts in a folder labelled 2020-2021 and every month I will input the data into my spreadsheet. With tutoring I tend to do it little and often using my Google calendar and tutorbird.

It’s not the most streamlined process, but it’s got me through the past 7 years! Each year I manage to finesse it a little bit more :sweat_smile:


I definitely agree with others’ comments that the actual return is simple enough. Getting onto the system and remembering the codes, passwords, etc is the hard part. You need to register in order to register to self assess, or something along those lines. There were several paper letters to wait for with codes for various things which I forgot the point of by the time they arrived :exploding_head:


As a tutor you classed really as a sole trader in the eyes of HMRC.

It is always best to have a business account which can separate the amount of money you make form tutoring. Additionally, if you make less than £1000, this is does not need to be reported to HRMC as there is tax free allowance. If you make less than £2500 you don’t need to complete a self assessment but will be liable to pay tax on the amount made there.

I used Monzo business which automatically puts all my transactions on to google sheets along with all my expenses. I have been tutoring for 10 years and the tax man has never asked for my records. I have recently started using taxscouts and they are only £100 and they complete the tax return for you. It is always best to ensure you getting a certified accountant to check over your books once in a while to ensure that all your income is correct and the the correct allowable expenses are recorded. HRMC only accepts certain business expenses. Remember as well that by working form home, you can also claim the home allowance which if you are working more than 25 hours a week can save a few £100 on the tax return. This would be inclusive of broadband, electricity and gas etc…

if anyone wants any help, do let me know its a pain doing tax returns but its always best to ensure you do them before January to avoid stress and potentially missing anything.

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Thanks everyone for the tips! I will certainly be bookmarking this topic!


Great to see everyone’s replies here.

I think there are two factors which can make it more complex:

  1. Doing tuition work outside of Tutorful
  2. Expenses - particularly for driving.

Like @AnnaDuncanScience, I tend to just pop in the dates of the tax year to work out my earnings for Tutoring.

But, I also have a spreadsheet where I keep track of any other income (from self-employed things other than tutoring) and expenses. I also keep track of hours worked so I can claim back the flat fee rates for heating, internet etc. These can be found on and change depending on hours worked (remember your prep and admin time too!). If I get my numbers in throughout the year, it makes SA time SO much easier!

As an online tutor, I don’t have many expenses so I don’t use a business account, but, I imagine if you did, it would make sense to get one.

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