What is SA302? Everything you need to know about self assessment statements

What is SA302? Everything you need to know about self assessment statements

When you own a business or are self-employed, proving your income can be tricky. But even without regular payslips or a guaranteed monthly income, you can show evidence of what you’ve earned. You’ll just need a Self Assessment statement, also known as an SA302. 

If you’re registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), you’ll have access to this very important document. The SA302 is a tax calculation that lets lenders check your income status and decide your creditworthiness. It shows banks and lenders your earning history, and it’s worth understanding the form in detail. 

In this article, we’ll cover what an SA302 is and why you might need one. We’ll also go over how you obtain the form, what it entails and how it fits into the loan process.

Table of contents

What is an SA302?

An SA302, also known as a tax calculation form, summarises the income you’ve reported to HMRC. It’s a statement based on your Self Assessment tax return.

The SA302 shows your income, tax allowance, tax you’ve paid and any that you owe or is owed to you for a particular tax year. The form effectively documents exactly how much income you have declared. It provides lenders with a way to verify that the income on a loan application is the same as what you’ve shown to HMRC. 

Top Tip: If you’re self-employed, HMRC requires you to declare your income so they can assess your tax liability. To make sure you stay in good standing, you need to know how to file your taxes correctly. Learn about Self Assessment tax returns, what they are and how to complete one in our guide to Self Assessment tax returns 📓

Who needs one?

The SA302 applies to anyone who is self-employed or who earns income outside of their employment. These income streams fall outside of PAYE (the “pay as you earn” model of paying Income Tax and National Insurance through your wages). 

Any income where an employer doesn’t deduct money for these purposes on your behalf is considered outside of PAYE. If any or all of your earnings fall into this category, you have to complete Self Assessment tax forms. They are then used to generate a Tax Calculation. 

Top Tip: If you’re a small business owner and employer, it’s imperative that you understand and accurately manage PAYE. It’s key to making sure your business records and tax affairs are in order and that you’re paying your staff correctly. To learn all about this critical topic, read our complete PAYE guide for business owners 🔎

If you earn income outside of PAYE, banks and lenders may find it difficult to determine how much you make. They’ll request an SA302 to prove a stable income. This kind of proof applies to roles like: 

  • Freelancers
  • Sole traders
  • Landlords
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Some company directors

Top Tip: There are many ways to make an income outside of full-time employment. Growing businesses are looking for help, which means opportunities for freelancers who know how to land customers. Learn a variety of methods for finding new clients and determine which will work best for you with our freelancer guide to increasing clients ⚡️

Why an SA302 is the easiest way to show self-employed income

Your income details aren’t recorded in payslips and P60 forms if you have income streams outside of PAYE. An SA302 provides a record of the income you’ve filed and gives lenders an official overview of your taxable income.

Because the form is easy to access and comes from a trusted source, the Self Assessment statement is the preferred method of showing self-employment income. A form from HMRC provides a strong picture of your earning stability. It verifies your income claims and assures lenders that you can afford monthly loan repayments. And it’s easy to trust because it’s based on your Self Assessment tax return. 

When do I need an SA302?

You’re most likely to request the SA302 when you’re looking to apply for a business or personal loan. Most frequently, the forms are used to verify the income figure on mortgage applications. 

Strict UK legislation requires banks and lenders to see proof of a mortgage applicant’s income to make a loan. They need the information to guarantee you can afford the monthly loan repayments. 

Full-time employees can prove their income through payslips (banks will usually ask for slips from the last three months), corresponding bank statements and P60 forms. However, those who aren’t full-time employees will need a Self Assessment statement in place of these other options. It’s important to note that people with multiple jobs may also have to obtain an SA302 when applying for a mortgage.

You may also have reasons outside a mortgage or business loan application to get a Self Assessment statement. For instance, if you’ve hired a new accountant, they may request previous Self Assessment calculations to get up to speed with your business activity. 

Top Tip: Providing your accountant with all the information they need helps them get your books in order and file your taxes accurately. There are several factors to keep in mind when determining what taxes you are responsible for. Learn more about the different types of tax and which ones apply to you in our simple guide to small business tax 🎯

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How do I get my SA302 Tax Calculation Form?

If you find you need a Self Assessment tax calculation form, you’ll have to request one. As of 2017, HMRC is no longer sending them out automatically. While you need to take the initiative, getting a form is fairly simple. You have three options for obtaining an SA302.

Option 1: Download your form online

If you (or your accountant) filed your Self Assessment tax returns online, you can log into your HMRC online account to get the forms. Your tax calculation and SA302 details for the past four years are available in your account. 

Once you’ve registered for an online account, there’s a straightforward process for getting the form. 

  • Log into your HMRC online account at www.online.hmrc.gov.uk
  • Go to “Self Assessment”
  • Select “More Self Assessment Details”
  • Select “Get Your SA302 Tax Calculation”
  • Choose the option to print and select the year you want to print
  • View and print your full calculation

Option 2: Get a copy from your accountant

Your accountant can act as your agent and print out your SA302. They can use their commercial accounting software to generate a summary of your annual earnings. The software should be the same program the accountant used to do your Self Assessment tax return, so they have all the information they need.

If your accountant provides the copy, they’ll need to certify the document to make it acceptable to your potential lender.

Option 3: Request a printed copy from HMRC

Finally, if you filed a paper tax return or want a copy sent directly to your lender, you can get a printed SA302 from HMRC. You’ll have to contact HMRC by phone to request it, and then they’ll send it via post. 

When you call to make the request, you’ll need to have your National Insurance number and Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) handy to verify your account. You’ll also need to let them know which years you require.

You’ll also need to provide details like your name, address and your date of birth. HMRC can only send documents using the address you’ve registered with them, so make sure you keep your personal information up to date in your account.

Note that it can take up to two weeks to get your form with this option, so be prepared to wait. It’s best to plan ahead when you’re getting ready to fill out a loan application so you get the documents on time.

Top tip: To access an SA302, you’ll need to properly register for Self Assessment and file your Self Assessment tax return. Learn all about registering with HMRC and see how Tide can help you with our guide to Self Assessment registration 📌

What does an SA302 self-assessment form include?

What exactly will lenders see when they get your Self Assessment form? The SA302 gives them a comprehensive look at your earnings and income. The form is broken into two parts: Tax Calculation and Tax Overview. 

  • The Tax Calculation section summarises your total declared earnings and tax payable. This calculation is based on the Self Assessment for the relevant tax year. 
  • The Tax Overview section shows the status of your tax payments.

While lenders may sometimes be interested in the Overview, the Tax Calculation section is more important to your mortgage application. This section considers all your sources of income. It  gives a detailed picture of where your earnings come from, including:

  • Pay from any employment
  • Profit from self-employment
  • Savings interest received from UK banks and building societies
  • UK pensions and state benefits
  • Dividends from UK companies
  • Profit from UK land and property (for example, rental income)
  • Calculations of income tax

What does an SA302 self assessment form include?

Top Tip: Your SA302 displays a detailed breakdown of all your taxable income. Your taxable income may be affected by the expenses you’re allowed to deduct as a small business or self-employed individual. To get a better understanding of what expenses you can claim and how to claim them, read our helpful guide to Self Assessment expenses 🔑

Using an SA302 to apply for a loan

As stated earlier, lenders will likely need to obtain proof of income for those seeking a mortgage or a loan. They’ll be particularly interested in the report of all your taxable income, your tax liability and the tax payable to HMRC. That’s where your Self Assessment statement comes in.

When you apply for a mortgage and have any income outside of PAYE, lenders will require specific information from you in keeping with the law. This includes: 

  • An SA302 Form. Note that the form will need to be dated within 18 months of your application.
  • Forms for multiple years. Lenders usually require at least two years’ worth of income data and may ask for up to four. Each form covers the information for one tax year, so you’ll likely need to request more than one form. To avoid delays in application processing, it’s a good idea to find out how many forms you’ll need before you begin the process.
  • Additional forms. Some lenders may require forms in addition to the SA302. For example, they may ask for a tax year overview form or assigned business accounts. The tax year overview document shows the amount of tax paid in the last year and any tax due. As with the SA302, it’s available through your account in HMRC online services. Again, it’s worth clarifying the requirements before applying so you can be prepared with all the necessary forms.

Will lenders accept a printed form?

Some banks and lenders require a copy of the SA302 sent directly from HMRC. However, most will accept self-printed forms from your online account or accounting software. To help you determine what you need, HMRC has compiled a thorough list of mortgage providers who accept printed forms.

When can I get my SA302?

Forms are available at the end of the tax year. You can request an SA302 for the previous tax year after filing your Self Assessment tax return for that year.

Wrapping up

Understanding the Self Assessment statement, or tax calculation form, is crucial if you’re a small business owner or self-employed individual. This option for proving your income helps meet lender requirements when you’re not traditionally employed. 

A Self Assessment statement doesn’t only show the stability of your income, however. It’s also a record of your taxes paid or owed to HMRC. Staying on top of your tax obligations helps you avoid any surprises when managing your finances. 

Sign up today for a free business bank account and let us help with useful features like accounting software integration and automated expense management.

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Photo by Anthony Shkraba, published on Pexels

Rupa Gohil

Rupa Gohil

Partnerships Manager and small business accounting advocate

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