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Account essentials: Completing your tax return

Photo of Caroline Caroline Culverwell
4 min

The subject of tax often elicits a collective sigh. The paperwork, calculations and deadlines can be daunting, leading some to put off completing their tax return until the very last minute, and it's such a relief to get it done!

Having a Partner Account for Individuals means you at least have easy access to the information you need on the taxable income you’ve received from Stewardship. By logging into your account, clicking on Activity, Transactions and then selecting Payments and entering the tax year dates, you can see the ‘Total paid to you’ in that tax year in the top right. 


Account activity screen


Do I need to declare income from Stewardship?

The UK government’s website confirms who must complete a tax return, including stating that you must complete a tax return if in the last tax year "you were self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000."

If you are a Christian Worker, our understanding and interpretation of tax law is that payments you receive from Stewardship are subject to UK income tax because of your vocation and you would therefore need to declare them. 

If you receive support from Stewardship as a full-time student at a UK Bible college we regard our grants, funded by your supporters, as a bursary for your studies and our understanding is that these grants will not usually be subject to UK income tax. 

However, it is your responsibility to ensure you are paying any necessary tax or national insurance on any income you receive, including from Stewardship. If you are in any doubt about your own personal position in relation to funds you receive from Stewardship, we recommend that you seek appropriate professional advice from a tax adviser.

Take a look at OSCAR’s website; the ‘One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources' where you can find a wealth of helpful advice and resources as a Christian worker, including financial advisers.


How do I complete the self assessment form?

You can get started on the UK government's website. It may seem daunting the first time you complete it but help is at hand. Don’t be tempted to put your head in the sand and put it off.  

The self assessment form covers all eventualities for those with income to be declared. Many are therefore optional. It’s therefore likely there will be several questions which aren’t applicable to you, particularly if the only income you are declaring is funds from Stewardship. For the most part, it will be clear from the question whether it applies to you. There are helpful videos for some questions and expandable explanations to clarify if you aren’t sure. 

If you are unsure we’d advise finding an accountant friend or someone you know who completes their own tax return to talk you through the form. Alternatively you can hire an accountant or tax adviser to help, relieving any stress of not understanding any of the questions. This may be only be necessary the first time you complete it as you’ll feel more equipped the next year.

There are also various videos on YouTube with tips on completing the form. You can save the form an come back to it so you don’t need to exhaust yourself doing it in one sitting. 

While the deadline for submitting your tax return is normally January 31st the year after the tax year end (i.e. January 31st 2025 for the 2023/24 tax year), we recommend you start early to reduce possible stress. You can start completing the form once the tax year ends in April so there’s no need to wait until the following January to get going or submit it. The sooner it’s done, the sooner you can forget about it until the next year.


Taking control of your finances 

Filing your tax return isn't just about meeting a legal requirement; it's also an opportunity to take control of your finances and ensure you're making the most of available benefits. By completing your tax return, you're not only fulfilling your civic duty but also potentially unlocking valuable deductions and credits that could save you money. Additionally, filing your taxes accurately and on time can bring peace of mind, knowing that you've fulfilled your obligations and avoided potential penalties. Plus, by organising your financial information during the process, you gain a clearer understanding of your income, expenses, and overall financial health, empowering you to make informed decisions for the future. So, while tax season may not be everyone's favourite time of year, approaching it with a positive mindset can turn it into a rewarding opportunity to take charge of your financial well-being. 



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Written by

Caroline Culverwell

Having spent time raising support while serving in Bolivia and following her experience as World Mission Pastor at a large church in London, Caroline is passionate about seeing those in Christian ministry move beyond living on just enough and uncomfortable asking for money to understanding support raising as a genuine gospel partnership. She wants to see those in Christian work well resourced as they boldly follow what God has called them to. 

She’s passionate about Mental & Physical Health and Global Mission causes, supporting a number of individuals working in mental health and with refugees.