Self Assessment Direct - How it works - documentation

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Important: If you have not joined MTD the links to HMRC's computers wont work (apart from Hello)

Please Note: Self Assessment is relatively new and we ask that you liaise with us directly when using this for now. (

Our intention is to ensure that the pages are self-explanatory. However, at times it helps to have a bit more of an explanation and that is what this page is about.

Each organisation using our system has a separate web domain. We call these organisations "system operators". Within the web domain it is possible to have more than one person who is allowed to use the system (User). Also the system can handle more than one business. We call businesses "legal entities". When you register on the system it will create a legal entity automatically. It then links that legal entity to the user name and password that were used to create the account. You can create more legal entities. One way of doing this is to right click on a legal entity on the list of legal entities and then pick the option to create another one. Similarly if you wish to change the name of the legal entity then right click on the name and pick the option to change it.

To be able to submit a Self Assessment return you need to change the fixed information for a legal entity and make sure that the National Insurance number is right.

The system has a facility to submit one of the test Self Assessment return to a test HMRC server to make sure everything is working. Test returns are always stuck in 2017. It is a good idea to use a test return if you are checking the formats of input files. If you wish to do a test return: a) Make sure you are in test mode (go to the Vat Return page and select test rather than live in the box at the top of the page) b) Go to "manage authorisations" and click on "create test user" this will create a test User on HMRC's computers and get that user authorised for reading and writing Self Assessment information. Then go to the vat return page and submit a test return. When you create a test user it overwrites the National Insurancenumber on your legal entity to the test value. Hence if you want to use the system for live activity you need to put the National Insurance number back - or create another legal entity for live purposes.

Before you can get any information from HMRC you need to use the Manage Authorisations page to authorise your user account and legal entity for read and write Self Assessment.

We will update this information as time goes by and we learn what needs more explanation.

.Click here to see all the training videos

Authorities and Signing up to MTD etc

It can be a bit confusing as to why things don't work when they don't work. We have written a page which tries to work out what is going on.That page is the "Check Authorities" page. Please be careful loading this page as it calls a lot of HMRC Apis. It does this to work out which ones areworking and which ones are not. For example if you are not in MTD you can run 'say hello' but not anything else.

Tips and Suggestions

The server can prompt you for particular processess. This is where a "tips and suggestions" box appears on a page and will clickthe right links or buttons on the page to do something. When this is running a journey is identified after the question mark in the web address. A list of journeys can be found below this.

Tips and Suggestions

Click here to go to the client login page (which has lots of videos on it)

If you need to deal with really old VAT returns. a) There is a link at the bottom of Submit Vat Return which gives all the outstanding vat returns however old. b) Manage Vat allows you to type in a range of dates. c) At the bottom of See Previous Vat Returns there is a link which allows you to specify the calendar year you wish to look at.

These are other pages you might find useful Manage Authorisations |Manage VAT |Submit VAT Return |See previous VAT Returns |See VAT payments |See VAT data |List Legal Entities |See How it Works |See Liabilities |Check authorities |Generic Return (or Amendment) Submission Page |