Skip to main content

GoSimpleTax review

Let GoSimpleTax take the stress out of taxation

GoSimpleTax
(Image: © GoSimpleTax)

Our Verdict

GoSimpleTax lives up to its namesake to provide a truly simple approach to completing a UK tax return, at a modest price. The limitations are that there is no free tier for the simplest returns, and it does not provide further accounting options or integration to other programs to support a small business.

For

  • Free trial
  • Mobile apps
  • Scan receipt functions
  • Modest cost

Against

  • No accounting feature
  • Lacks free tier

GoSimpleTax is a little different. While some accounting and tax software offerings endeavour to deliver an all encompassing approach to a small business’ finances, being all things to all people (or at least tax filers), GoSimpleTax zags against this. Their goal, as their name suggests is simplicity, with a laser focused tool that is designed to be stress free, and allows just about anyone to complete their tax return.

GoSimpleTax is a relative newcomer to the tax scene, having been established in 2013. While the company is a more recent entry to the segment, they are still veterans at taxes claiming over 100 years of accounting industry experience. Its software gets used by over 6,000 individuals and businesses to complete their tax returns without an accountant. Close rivals include the likes of FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Xero, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Kashoo, Zoho Books and Kashflow.

GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax offers three different plans with discounts for processing multiple returns (Image Credit: GoSimpleTax) (Image credit: GoSimpleTax)

Pricing

GoSimpleTax explains that it offers plans that are based on an annual subscription for one tax return, while previous or subsequent returns are charged separately. The good news is that GoSimpleTax offers a free, no-obligation trial that can be downloaded for iOS or Android.

If you’re a fan of what it offers then prices, which include VAT, start at £46 per tax year (non-subscription price £77) for a Tax Return option. This comes with a host of features and allows you to submit directly to HMRC along with view your tax calculation, print it and download form R40. The mobile app lets you scan receipts as well as tackle all the main categories including Basic Tax Return (SA100), Employment (SA102), Self Employment (SA103), Partnership (SA104), Property (SA105), Ministers of Religion, (SA102M), Foreign (SA106), Trusts (SA107), Capital Gains (SA108), Residency (SA109).

This is followed by a package aimed at SA800 Partnerships, which costs £65 per tax year (non-subscription price £108). GoSimpleTax also has a multiple return discount in operation that has non-subscription rates starting from £115. It also allows you to submit directly to HMRC and covers all bases on the partnership front, including Partnership Tax Return (SA800), Property Income (SA801), Foreign Income (SA802), Disposal of Assets (SA803), Investments Income (SA804), Auto populate partner’s SA104. Usefully, you can also add partners at anytime.

Features

GoSimpleTax designed their software to accommodate a variety of user’s needs. Platform choices include a cloud-based option via a web browser interface, or apps for both the Android and iOS platforms. A major advantage of this SaaS approach is that the software can be updated at the server, unburdening the end user from worrying about any downloading and installing any updates.

We have to admit that being a tax veteran with over two decades of downloadable software experience, and looking for larger monitors and more robust computers through the years for a more efficient tax return process, we were a little put off with the idea of using a smartphone to complete a more complicated tax return. However, as millenials grow up, and drive the market, companies will respond to these needs by providing useful apps to solve problems, and GoSimpleTax clearly fits into this category.

Rather than completing a daunting pile of forms, this software guides a user through the process of entering their tax data into their return, with benefits of time savings, and ease of use. GoSimpleTax also checks the return for errors, ready to give notifications if a potential issue is detected, to avoid any potential penalties. It is also on the lookout for opportunities to lower the tax bill, and can create reports in an automated fashion.

Another burden of tax filing is keeping up with the deadlines to file, and pay, on time. GoSimpleTax incorporates useful reminders to help with calendar management, and make sure that all deadlines are met, to avoid any issues with late payments.

Receipts

Scanning receipts with GoSimpleTax makes keeping track of your expenses easy (Image Credit: GoSimpleTax)

A large part of filing a tax return are the expenses. Tracking them and entering them can be labor intensive, and many folks go to meet their accountant with a shoebox full of receipts collected over the entire year. One of GoSimpleTax’s innovative features is the ability to scan those receipts. 

Once through the scanning process, the receipts are part of your accounting records, and ready to be uploaded to the HRMC. The receipts can also be easily categorized, and the expenditures over the last financial year can be reviewed, applied as expenses, and even can be specified as to what percentage of the costs should be applied as a tax expense, rather than for private use.

Support is available, with inquiries answered online promptly, often in an hour timeframe. However, there is no dedicated phone support.

Final verdict

Realistically, nobody is ever going to say they enjoyed doing their taxes, but with GoSimpleTax we can certainly state that it is less of a burden - and this is about the best we can hope for. 

Pluses include the SaaS approach, the modest cost, free trial, and receipt scanning functionality. Minuses include the lack of a free tier for simpler returns, no accounting functions, and no integration into a larger ecosystem of financial tools to support small businesses other than categorizing expenses. 

At the end of the day, for UK tax filers with a basic to more intermediate return, and a desire to complete it across a choice of cross platform devices, GoSimpleTax offers a compelling solution.