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When is a Self Assessment Tax Return Required?

Who Needs to File a Self Assessment Tax Return?

Navigating the requirements of a Self Assessment tax return can feel overwhelming, particularly if you’re new to being self-employed, a sole trader or generating multiple streams of income.

In this article, we’ll assist you in unravelling the complexities of Self Assessment tax returns, ensuring you understand when a Self Assessment tax return is required and guiding you through the entire process.

What is a Self Assessment tax return?

Self Assessment is a system used by HMRC to collect income tax. In cases where individuals and businesses have earned income that has not been previously declared to HMRC, they must report those earnings in a Self Assessment tax return.

Not everyone in the UK is required to complete a Self Assessment tax return. Many taxpayers have their taxes deducted through PAYE (Pay As You Earn). However, if you earn more than £100,000, you may still find yourself subject to the requirements of submitting a tax return.

Who needs to file a Self Assessment tax return?

In most cases, HMRC will send a “notice to file” to individuals required to submit a Self Assessment tax return.

If you’re currently wondering – “why have I been sent a Self Assessment tax return?”, let us provide you with some much needed clarity. Various circumstances may have triggered a request, including:

  • Self Employment: If you are self-employed or operate as a sole trader, you will likely receive a letter from HMRC asking you to submit a Self Assessment tax return. This allows you to declare your self-employed income and expenses.
  • Additional Income: If you have additional income beyond your primary employment, for example from renting out a property or conducting freelance work.
  • High Income: If your total taxable income exceeds £100,000.
  • High Income Child Benefit Charge: If you or your partner receives Child Benefit and one of you has an income above £50,000, you may need to complete a Self Assessment tax return to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

Additional circumstances include income derived from tips and commissions, savings, investments, dividends and foreign sources.

How to fill out a Self Assessment tax return

If this is your first time submitting a Self Assessment tax return, you’ll need to begin by registering for Self Assessment. Once registered, you’ll receive your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

To file your return online, you’ll also need to set up a Government Gateway account. Instructions on how to do this will be included in the letter confirming your UTR.

Before you begin filing your tax return, be sure to have these documents on hand:

  • Your 10-digit UTR: This unique 10-digit code can be found on any letters from HMRC, such as your Notice to Complete a Tax Return.
  • Your NI Number: This can be found on any payslips or P60s from previous or current employers.
  • Your Government Gateway User ID: This 12-digit User ID is generated when you register for Self Assessment.
  • Invoices: If you’re operating as a sole trader or partner in a partnership or LLP, you’ll need to add up all your invoices to calculate your income for the tax year.
  • Expense Receipts: If you’re a sole trader or in partnership, you can claim for business expenses, such as petrol and travel costs.
  • Student Loan Repayments: You’ll need to know what plan you’re on and how much you’ve repaid in the tax year.
  • P60: If you were paid by another employer, you’ll need to know how much you received, how much was taxed and the employer’s PAYE tax reference. This can all be found on your P60.
  • P11D Form: If you received any benefits from your employer in addition to your salary, you’ll need to declare these figures. They can be found on your P11D form.
  • Bank Interest: Any interest received from bank accounts will need to be declared. If your account is shared, you’re only required to declare half of the interest.
  • Pensions: If you have received any payments, you’ll need to declare your income from the State Pension and any private pensions.
  • Dividends: Limited company directors declaring dividends in the tax year must include these details. In addition, you must declare dividends received from companies outside the UK, or from companies not your own, exceeding £300 in the tax year.
  • Income From Trusts: If you don’t already have this information, reach out to the trustee managing the trust for a summary.
  • Income From Rented Properties: If you’re a landlord, compile details of the income received from renting your property.

Once you’ve provided all the relevant details, HMRC will calculate how much you owe.

How to amend my Self Assessment tax return

Amending your Self Assessment tax return is possible, as long as you do so before the amendment date.

If HMRC requested your return before the 31st of October following the end of the tax year, the amendment deadline will be the 31st of January following the end of the tax year. However, if HMRC asked you to file the return after the 31st of October, the amendment deadline is set to 15 months after the date of that notice.

If you filed your original tax electronically, you can make the amendment electronically through HMRC’s Self Assessment portal.

Choose our Self Assessment tax return services

At Hartley Fowler, our mission is to alleviate the stress that often accompanies the looming Self Assessment tax return deadline. In addition to completing your return, we can also provide advice and guidance on your tax liabilities, support you in negotiating with the collecting tax authorities and deal with all correspondence from HMRC, saving you valuable time and effort.

If you have any questions regarding when a Self Assessment tax return is required, or wish to find out more about our Self Assessment tax return services, please call us today to arrange a free consultation.

Wimbledon office: 020 8946 1212
Brighton office: 01273 202311