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What is HMRC Form SA402?

Updated: Jan 4

The SA400 form is employed by partnerships within the UK to register for Self Assessment with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This form is integral in capturing vital information about the partnership, including the partnership's name, address, business type, date of partnership commencement, partnership type, and accounting date. By registering a partnership for Self Assessment, HMRC is informed about the partnership's existence and its tax obligations, thereby ensuring accurate and timely tax returns from the partnership​.


Understanding the HMRC SA400 Form 

The HMRC SA400 form is a pivotal document in the United Kingdom's taxation system, especially for business partnerships. Specifically, it is used to register a partner for Self-Assessment when that partner is not an individual, such as a company or trust. The person responsible for the partner, like the trustee or company secretary, should sign the form. The form can either be used online or filled in on-screen, printed and posted to HMRC. If users encounter problems with the online forms, a PDF version is available to print and fill in by hand​​. As of 2024, its significance in ensuring tax compliance and facilitating the self-assessment process for partnerships is more relevant than ever. This comprehensive analysis will explore the SA400 form, its purpose, how it should be completed, and its critical role in the UK tax structure in 2024.


What is HMRC Form SA402


Types of Partnerships and Registration

There are three types of business partnerships in the UK: ordinary partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships (LLPs). The type of partnership determines the registration process with HMRC. For instance, limited partnerships and LLPs need to register with Companies House, which in turn notifies HMRC. The HMRC then automatically sets up the partnership records, eliminating the need for a separate registration with HMRC​.


Registration Deadlines and Compliance

To avoid penalties, the nominated partner must register the partnership with HMRC before the 5th of October in the business’s second tax year. For example, a partnership starting in February 2023 must register by the 5th of October 2023 for the tax year 2023/24. This deadline adherence is critical for the partnership to remain in good standing with HMRC​.


Individual Partner Registrations

Alongside the partnership registration, each individual partner must also register with HMRC. They are responsible for their own tax returns and paying their own tax and National Insurance. This separate registration is essential for HMRC to accurately assess each partner’s tax liabilities​​​.


Receiving the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number

Upon filing the SA400 form, HMRC sends a unique tax reference number (UTR number) to the registered partnership address. This number is essential for completing the partnership tax return and is distinct from the UTRs of the individual partners. The UTR number usually arrives within 28 working days after the form submission​.


Tax Payment by Partnerships

While partnerships must submit Self Assessment tax returns as an entity, they do not pay tax on the profits they make. Instead, each partner pays tax based on their share of the profits. This unique structure of tax payment underscores the importance of accurate and timely submission of the SA400 form​.


Importance of the SA400 Form in 2024

In 2024, the HMRC SA400 form's importance lies in its central role in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the UK's tax system, particularly for partnerships. By ensuring that partnerships are correctly registered for Self Assessment and compliant with their tax reporting obligations, the SA400 form contributes to the accurate calculation of taxes due from partnerships based on their reported income and allowable expenses. This process is vital in ensuring that each partner within a partnership pays the correct amount of tax and maintains transparency in their financial dealings.'


The Digital Shift in 2023

Significant changes to the form have been introduced in 2023 as HMRC shifts towards a 'digital by default' approach. The HMRC is contacting taxpayers who previously filed paper Self-Assessment tax returns to inform them that they will need to call HMRC if they require a paper form. The SA forms, including SA402, are no longer available to download from the gov.uk website.


However, it's important to note that not all paper filers will be contacted. Those aged 70 or over who have not previously submitted digitally, along with visually impaired filers, will continue to receive a paper SA return automatically.


Deadlines and Digital Filing

With this shift, the deadlines for filing have also changed. Self-Assessment returns submitted online have a filing deadline of 31 January following the tax year end, while paper returns normally need to be filed by 31 October following the tax year-end. From 6 April 2023, the paper form for the SA return will no longer be available to download from HMRC's website.


Broader Changes and Impact

The changes to form SA402 and the broader shift to digital filing are part of a wider campaign to move more taxpayers' interactions with HMRC to digital channels. The HMRC has already trialed using SMS replies for direct queries from its phone helpline during the run-up to the Self-Assessment deadline in January. In addition, HMRC will be reducing its use of high-volume letters and forms, with more of these being delivered digitally over the next two years.


How to Fill HMRC Form SA402 in the UK

Filling out the HMRC Form SA402 might seem daunting, but with the right guidance, you can complete it with confidence. The form is used to register a partner who is not an individual for Self-Assessment in the UK.


Preparing to Fill Out the Form

Before you begin filling out the form, gather all the necessary information you'll need, as the online version of the form does not allow you to save a partly completed form​1. You can fill out the form using the online service or by hand if you print the PDF version. If you're using an older browser, ensure you update it or use a different browser. The form should open in Adobe Reader.


Who Should Fill Form SA402?

The form should be filled and submitted by the person responsible for the partner, such as the trustee or company secretary. This person might be a partner in the other partnership. Remember to include the registration number on the form if the new partner is a limited liability partnership or limited company.


Filling the Form

Form SA402 registers non-individual partners in a partnership. This could be another partnership or a company. Individual partners register with form SA401​.

Yes, a limited company can be a partner in a partnership, and it will need to include any income earned from the partnership when calculating its profits for the Company Tax Return​.


Tax Returns and Partnerships

In a partnership, each human partner is responsible for their own Self-Assessment tax return, and paying their income tax and National Insurance contributions. Each partner that is another entity (like a limited company or another partnership) must submit its own tax return which includes its share of any profits from the partnership.


The partnership itself must also submit a tax return, and the nominated partner is responsible for this. The main partnership tax return must detail the share of profits or losses for each partner, using the partnership statement. Each partner should receive a copy of this statement to complete their own tax return.


What Happens If the Partnership Ends?

If a partner leaves a partnership, they still need to submit a tax return for that year, up until the date they left. If the partnership ends, the tax return is completed for the period of trading up until the date the partnership ended.


Keeping Records in Business Partnerships

You must keep partnership records for five years following the 31st January deadline of the partnership tax return. This applies whether you complete a paper tax return or an online one. The records you need to keep depend on the type of gains and income the partnership receives. Failure to maintain the correct business records could result in a penalty or fine.


In conclusion, filling out the HMRC Form SA402 involves several steps, from preparation to submission. With careful attention to detail and thorough record-keeping, you can successfully register a non-individual partner for Self-Assessment.


In conclusion, HMRC Form SA402 is an essential tool for registering non-individual partners for Self-Assessment in the UK. While the form's purpose remains the same in 2023, the shift towards digital filing and the changes to form availability and submission deadlines reflect HMRC's broader move towards 'digital by default services. It's essential for taxpayers to be aware of these changes to ensure their tax obligations are met accurately and on time.


How a Tax Accountant Can Help You with Form SA402


How a Tax Accountant Can Help You with Form SA402?

Navigating tax forms such as SA402 can be complex, especially for those unfamiliar with UK tax regulations. Engaging a tax accountant's services can greatly simplify this process. Let's explore how they can assist.


Understanding the Complexity of Form SA402

A tax accountant's expertise is particularly valuable when dealing with forms like SA402, used to register a non-individual partner for Self-Assessment. Accountants can help you understand the nuances of this form, which is different from the SA401 used to register individual partners. They can explain the purpose of each section, ensuring accurate completion and submission.


Assisting in Accurate Completion

The completion of Form SA402 demands detailed information about the non-individual entity to be registered, such as a limited company or another partnership. A tax accountant can help gather the necessary data, ensuring the form is filled out correctly. Mistakes in these forms can lead to complications or delays, which a tax accountant can help you avoid.


Navigating Partnerships and Limited Companies

Form SA402 requires a nuanced understanding of partnerships and limited companies, particularly when these entities are partners in a partnership. A tax accountant can navigate these complexities, clarifying the obligations of each partner in terms of their own Self-Assessment tax returns and any profits derived from the partnership.


Expert Advice on Tax Returns and Partnerships

Tax accountants understand the obligations of each partner in a partnership. They can provide guidance on how each partner - whether an individual or another entity - needs to report their share of any profits from the partnership in their own tax returns. They can also assist with the partnership's own tax return, which the nominated partner is responsible for.


Guidance in Case of Partnership Changes

Changes in a partnership, such as the departure of a partner or the dissolution of the partnership, can complicate tax matters. A tax accountant can guide you through these scenarios, ensuring that all partners fulfill their tax obligations for the period of their involvement in the partnership.


Ensuring Proper Record Keeping

Good record keeping is crucial for partnerships, with records needing to be kept for five years following the 31st January deadline of the partnership tax return. A tax accountant can advise on the types of records that need to be maintained, helping to prevent penalties or fines resulting from inadequate record keeping.


Liaising with HMRC

Finally, a tax accountant can serve as an intermediary between you and HMRC. They can submit the completed Form SA402 on your behalf, saving you time and effort. In case of queries or issues from HMRC, your tax accountant can provide the necessary support and guidance.



In conclusion, hiring a tax accountant can greatly simplify the process of dealing with Form SA402. Their expertise and guidance can ensure that the form is completed accurately, that all partners fulfill their tax obligations, and that proper records are maintained. This professional help can give you peace of mind in navigating the complexities of UK tax regulations.


FAQs


Q1: Who is required to fill out the HMRC SA402 form?

A: The HMRC SA402 form should be filled out by the person responsible for a non-individual partner in a partnership, such as a company or trust. This person could be a trustee, company secretary, or a partner in another partnership​.


Q2: What entities can be registered using the SA402 form?

A: The SA402 form is used to register non-individual entities like companies, trusts, or other partnerships as partners in a partnership​.


Q3: Can a limited company be a partner in a partnership and need to fill the SA402? A: Yes, a limited company can be a partner in a partnership. It would need to include its income from the partnership when calculating its profits for the Company Tax Return​.


Q4: What happens to a partner's tax responsibilities if they leave a partnership?

A: If a partner leaves a partnership, they still need to submit a tax return for the period up until the date they left​.


Q5: How long must partnership records be kept?

A: Partnership records must be kept for five years following the 31st January deadline of the partnership tax return​.


Q6: What is the role of a tax accountant in assisting with the SA402 form?

A: A tax accountant can help understand the complexities of the SA402 form, ensure accurate completion, navigate partnership structures, provide tax return guidance, and liaise with HMRC on behalf of the partnership​​​​​​​​​​​​​.


Q7: How has HMRC's approach to the SA402 form changed in 2023?

A: HMRC has shifted towards a 'digital by default' approach, and the SA402 form is part of this change. The form is no longer available for download and must be completed digitally unless exemptions apply​.


Q8: What are the new filing deadlines for digital tax returns?

A: Self-Assessment returns submitted online have a deadline of 31 January following the tax year end, while paper returns need to be filed by 31 October following the tax year end​.


Q9: Is it possible to complete the SA402 form online?

A: Yes, the SA402 form can be completed using the online service provided by HMRC. However, if there are issues with the online forms, a PDF version is available to print and fill in by hand​.


Q10: What should be done before starting to fill out the SA402 form?

A: Before filling out the form, all necessary information should be gathered, as the online version of the form does not allow for saving a partly completed form​.


Q11: What should be done if there are problems with the online SA402 form?

A: If there are issues with the online version, the PDF version of the SA402 form can be printed and filled in manually​.


Q12: Who is eligible to use the paper form of SA402?

A: Individuals aged 70 or over who have not previously submitted digitally and visually impaired filers will continue to receive a paper SA return automatically​.


Q13: What information is required on the SA402 form for a limited liability partnership or limited company?

A: The registration number should be included on the SA402 form if the new partner is a limited liability partnership or limited company​.


Q14: What are the responsibilities of each partner in a partnership regarding tax returns?

A: Each human partner is responsible for their own Self-Assessment tax return, including paying their income tax and National Insurance contributions. Partners that are entities must submit their own tax return, including their share of profits from the partnership​.


Q15: Who is responsible for submitting the main partnership tax return?

A: The nominated partner in the partnership is responsible for submitting the main partnership tax return, which details the share of profits or losses for each partner​.


Q16: What should be done if the partnership ends?

A: If the partnership ends, the tax return is completed for the period of trading up until the date the partnership ended​.


Q17: What types of records should be kept in a business partnership?

A: The types of records to be kept depend on the type of gains and income the partnership receives. It's important to maintain the correct business records to avoid penalties or fines​.


Q18: How does HMRC assist in the process of completing the SA402 form?

A: HMRC provides guidance and digital services to assist in the process of completing the SA402 form, reflecting their move towards 'digital by default' services​.


Q19: What should be done in case of changes in a partnership?

A: In case of changes like the departure of a partner or the dissolution of the partnership, it's important to ensure that all partners fulfill their tax obligations for their period of involvement​.


Q20: How can a tax accountant assist in liaising with HMRC?

A: A tax accountant can serve as an intermediary between the partnership and HMRC, helping to submit the completed Form SA402 and providing support in case of queries or issues from HMRC​.



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