What is the SA302 form – why you need it if you’re self-employed

| 9th May 2013

When buying a house, applying for a mortgage or bank loan, the process is normally straightforward. If you are employed, the lender will want to see some evidence that you are able to make the repayments – and will want to see the payslips and, occasionally, your bank statements.

If you are self-employed, however, the situation is a bit trickier. Since you are not on a payroll scheme, you will not be receiving payslips. So how do you prove your income?

This is where the form SA302 comes in. This is the acknowledgement and calculation from HMRC showing your total income, and that you have filed a tax return for the year – so if you are self-employed, are in a partnership or are operating as a limited company (i.e. sole director and shareholder).

Applying for SA302

Mortgage lenders will only accept original copies from HMRC – no photocopies. The only way to get an SA302 is to call HMRC (0845 900 0444) and request a form to be posted.

A few tips to smooth the process out:

• Be patient – as mentioned in our previous blog post, HMRC is not renowned for its customer service.

• Think ahead – when you request the form by post, it typically takes 7-10 working days to arrive. So don’t leave it too late!

• Get everything – most lenders typically take the average of the last two years’ SA302 figures, but some want to go further back in the past. Check with your lender how far back you need to go, so that you only have to talk to HMRC once.

• Chase it up! – As with everything, there is a risk that your request may fall through the cracks, and there is a greater risk of this happening with HMRC. Get a reference for the call, and if possible the person’s direct number, and if you’ve not received the forms within 10 days, give them another call.

Alternatively, if you have an accountant, you can get them to request it on your behalf. This may be quicker, as they will be able to fast-track the process, because they have access to the agent-dedicated helpline.

What if I need it sooner?

A chartered accountant’s letter confirming your income may be accepted as an alternative – but letters from other qualified accountants may not. Please consult your lender to see what they require and make sure that your accountant is chartered (member of the ICAEW). Contact Howlader & Co. chartered accountants in London if you need any help with your SA302 form.

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