Self Assessment involves completing an online or paper tax return. You tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about your income and capital gains (profits on the sale of certain assets) on the tax return, or claim tax allowances or reliefs. There are deadlines for sending your tax return in – and penalties and interest charges if it arrives late.
Who needs to complete a Self Assessment tax return?
Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. If your tax affairs are straightforward you may already pay all of the tax due on your earnings or pensions through your PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax code.
But you may need to complete a tax return if you have more complicated tax affairs, even if you already pay tax through PAYE. There are also certain circumstances in which you will always need to complete a tax return for example.
- a company director (unless you’re a director of a non-profit organisation, for example a charity, and don’t receive any payments or benefits)
- If you’re self-employed (including being a member of a partnership)
- income from savings and investments of £10,000 or more
- income from untaxed savings and investments of £2,500 or more
- income from property (before deducting allowable expenses) of £10,000 or more
- income from property (after deducting allowable expenses) of £2,500 or more
- you have any foreign income that’s liable to UK tax.
- If you have Capital Gains Tax to pay, for example you’ve sold, given away or otherwise disposed of an asset such as a holiday home or shares, you’ll need to complete a tax return and the Capital Gains Tax pages
- If you aren’t domiciled in the UK
How to get a Self Assessment tax return
HMRC normally sends out your Self Assessment tax return in April each year – if you file online they send a letter called a ‘Notice to File’ instead. If you usually complete a tax return but it hasn’t arrived by the end of April, you should get in touch with your Tax Office.
If you haven’t completed a tax return before (or it’s been a while since you did), you’ll need to complete a Self Assessment registration form before you can get a tax return.
Please contact your accountant who will be able advise you on the registration process.
Once you’ve registered for Self-Assessment – What happens next?
HMRC will set up tax records for you and send you a 10 digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If any tax returns need completing straight away they’ll send these to you too.
In April each year, you’ll receive either a tax return or, if you decide to file online, a letter called a ‘Notice to File’.
Your accountant will help complete and file your Self-Assessment Tax Return. Please ensure you submit all your income information when requested by your accountant to ensure that they have sufficient time to complete and file your Tax Return on time to avoid any interest and/or penalties charged by HMRC.
Tax return deadlines and penalties
If you send in a paper tax return, it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 October.
If you send in your tax return online it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January.
You’ll be charged a penalty if your tax return isn’t received on time.
There are a few exceptions to the above dates, for example if you receive your tax return late or HMRC doesn’t allow you to file online.
If you have any questions, please contact us.