I know I should hire an accountant and I am working on finding the money to do that, but meanwhile I have totally confused myself as to whether or not I owe any taxes in January. I've just finished my first year as self-employed.
So the class I took on Expenses included a sheet with how to estimate your tax. It says '£1 - £20k at 20%'.
And yet I have just seen on the HMRC website that there is a personal allowance of £7,000k+.
So do I owe taxes on the £4,000k I made this year or do I not?!?!
My understanding is that you can earn the £7K and you pay tax on your profits, so it is unlikely you'll be paying any this year. Have you earnt elsewhere under PAYE etc? That is when it gets complicated.
You don't have to do the return in January, you can do it before then if you want to get it out of the way. If you want to return paper docs instead of online you need to do before 31 Oct.
An accountant may cost less than you think, but with income this low (below the threshold where you pay tax) it is not really necessary EXCEPT if you have bought significant capital items (eg tools, a computer) when they may be able to save you tax in later years.
Are you registered as self employed and paying Class 2 National Insurance? If not, read this.
The personal allowance for 2010/11 was £6,475 but as a self-employed person you also pay Class 4 National Insurance on profit over £5,715. If your profit is only £4,000 you are under this, and if it is £4,000k you can probably afford an accountant!
So as long as you have not included any expenses which you shouldn't have, you will be OK. How much was your total income before expenses? Your comment about Capital Expenditure is a bit worrying.
Finally, don't listen to any rumours about selection for inquiry, submit the return on line as soon as you are believe it is right. You can always resubmit later if you do find an accountant (before the end of January).
from your post it is obvious you DO need to see an accountant AND NOT YOUR FRIEND as they are talking total crap by capital expenditure I take it you mean capital allowances - if you do not know the difference between repairs & renewals and capital expenditure then it is almost certain that your profit figures are wrong