An SA302 is a summary of the income that has been reported to HMRC. This is often necessary to verify self-employed income for a mortgage application, but can also be useful in other instances – if you’ve recently enlisted an accountant, for instance, they may need to see a calculation from previous periods.
However, whilst it used to be standard procedure to request paper copies of the SA302 directly from HMRC, in September 2017 HMRC announced that it would no longer issue these to self-employed individuals who file their returns online and/or use tax agents. Instead, HMRC advises that customers set up a ‘personal tax account’ (PTA), through which they will be able to handle a number of digital tax matters (including the printing out of the SA302 calculation).
There have been a few teething issues with this new set-up, however. In the case of mortgage applications, tax advisers have found that not all commercial software will print the calculation to the lenders’ requirements (often the reference SA302 is not included, for instance) or indeed will not print at all. Moreover, though HMRC has been in discussion with members of UK Finance, and has repeatedly stated that the majority of lenders will accept printed SA302s from an online account, there is still evidence of brokers refusing to accept anything but a paper SA302 directly from HMRC. If you are considering applying for a mortgage, we’d highly recommend checking HMRC’s list of mortgage providers and lenders that accept printed tax calculations.
How Can I Get My SA302?
The good news is that if you engaged an accountant to handle your tax for the period for which you need to provide proof of income, they should be able to generate SA302 copies via their own tax software.
If you’d like to access your calculation online, you can do this via the HMRC Personal Tax Account, as follows:
- Log in to your online HMRC account and select ‘Tax return options’.
- Next, choose the appropriate year from the menu and click ‘Go’.
- Select ‘View your tax return’ and then ‘View calculation’.
- Print as required.
You may also be asked to provide evidence of your ‘Tax Year Overview’. This is separate to the SA302 tax calculation and summarises the amount of tax you owe for a certain year (and how much has been paid). To do so:
- Log on to your online HMRC account and click ‘View account’.
- Next, select ‘Tax years’.
- Choose the appropriate year from the menu and print the overview.
If you have filed a paper return and haven’t used an accountant, you can still contact HMRC and request a hard copy of the SA302. Bear in mind that HMRC experiences very high call volumes, though, so you’ll need to be prepared to wait; and the process can take a couple of weeks, so it makes sense to do this in in good time. Work out exactly what you need beforehand (exactly which tax years you need to provide evidence of, and how many – if applying for a mortgage, most lenders require at least two). You’ll also need your full name, address, and UTR (Unique Tax Reference) to hand.
I’m a Company Director. Do I Need an SA302?
If you are a director of a limited company and you’re applying for a mortgage, brokers may well ask to see an SA302 calculation. However, this might not be sufficient to prove your income, for various reasons:
- Directors often take a small salary that is topped up with dividends. This allows them to extract profits from the company according to how well it is doing. However, this level of flexibility can make proving income difficult when it comes to mortgage applications.
- You may find that you have deliberately refrained from taking a salary in order to support cash flow within the company. Talk to an accountant in this instance. It may be that you need to submit company accounts plus an accountant’s certificate to support your borrowing capability.
As noted above, advice from an accountant can be extremely useful when applying for a mortgage – whether a simple SA302 or more detailed financial records are required. Do be aware that some lenders will only accept documentation from a chartered accountant. The expert team at IBISS & Co consists of both chartered certified accountants and specialist tax advisers, and can happily advise on a range of financial matters – from mortgages to mergers, we will always have your best interests (and your tax position) firmly at heart.