Self-employed consultant and UK landlord Steve Flew saves lots of time and money thanks to GoSimpleTax

Steve Flew is a self-employed oil-sector consultant who lives in the picturesque village of Boat of Garten in the Scottish Highlands. He’s married to Norwegian wife Maike and they have a small family.   “I’m Welsh; originally…

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Last Updated: 10th January 2023

Steve Flew is a self-employed oil-sector consultant who lives in the picturesque village of Boat of Garten in the Scottish Highlands. He’s married to Norwegian wife Maike and they have a small family.  

“I’m Welsh; originally from the Gower near Swansea; but I lived overseas for more than 20 years,” he explains. “For 30 years I’ve worked in the oil and gas industry. I started at BP, but I’ve since worked for large and small companies in Europe, Australia and the Far East. 

“We’d been living in Kuala Lumpur for 20 years, then Maike and I decided to move back to the UK in 2020, basically, to give the family some UK roots,” he remembers. Why Scotland? Steve replies: “Well, we live in a beautiful place and we love the mountains, people and countryside here – but it’s also about half way between our two sets of parents in Wales and Norway,” he smiles.

Self-employed and UK rental income     

In July 2020, Steve became self-employed after launching his own consultancy. Larger oil-sector consultancies now subcontract his services. “For some years I’ve had UK rental income to report via Self Assessment and that’s why I started using GoSimpleTax, because I couldn’t file rental income forms directly with HMRC from Malaysia.”

To begin with, Steve used a UK accountant. “But once they’ve done your tax returns a few times and given you tax advice, it’s more or less the same figures every year, so I decided to do it myself to save money. Problem was, I still couldn’t file the forms online because I lived overseas.”

Steve says another issue was the time difference between the UK and Malaysia, which meant there was only a small window during which he could speak to his UK accountant by phone. “And you still have to spend time keeping records and gathering information for your tax returns, an accountant doesn’t take care of everything,” he stresses. 

Well worth it

Steve searched the HMRC website for a solution to his filing issue and found a list of third-party Self Assessment filing software. “I tried a few, but they were too cumbersome. Then I came across GoSimpleTax, which was simpler and much more user-friendly. It had everything I needed, including prompts to help me fill out the tax return as required, without making mistakes.

“I keep spreadsheets that detail my income and costs, so I just have to enter those figures into GoSimpleTax. It’s all very easy and convenient. Previous tax returns are stored safely, so I can quickly find figures from previous tax years, which also helps to make the process much quicker.” 

What about value for money? “All of these benefits for just £54.99, in my case? It’s well worth it,” answers Steve. Even if your tax affairs are fairly simple, GoSimpleTax gives you that added peace of mind. You also get free support from GoSimpleTax’s experts, and whenever I’ve asked for support the response has always been prompt.” 

£1,000 tax saving

In his most recent Self Assessment tax return (2021/22), Steve had to report income from self-employment, overseas income, UK property rent, and capital gains from selling an overseas property. He used GoSimpleTax’s tax return-checking service and was very glad he did.

“Aiden from GoSimpleTax looked at my tax return. Getting someone with his expertise to look over the figures I’d entered in my tax return was hugely beneficial. In fact, if I’d have filed the return without getting it checked, I would have paid another £1,000 in tax. 

“Aiden not only spotted mistakes I’d made, but he also told me where I’d gone wrong, helping me to better understand the complexities of the various HMRC forms. As an add-on to everything else you get from the software, GoSimpleTax’s tax return-checking service is superb. An accountancy firm would charge you so much more for the same service and advice.”

If you’re self-employed like Steve, whether you have other taxable income to report to HMRC or not, save time, money and hassle with GoSimpleTax. Make your life easier – sign up for our free trial Our tax return-checking service could also help you to pay less tax.

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Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.


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