Self assessment can be a time consuming and often confusing business for busy individuals.
Self Assessment is a system HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses to collect Income Tax.
Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. People and businesses with other income must report it in a tax return.
If you need to send one, you fill it in after the end of the tax year (5 April) it applies to.
And judging by the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are penalised by HMRC each year it can also be very costly if:
- Deadlines are missed
- Incorrect returns are delivered
- Appropriate records are not retained or presented
Send your tax return by the deadline (31 January if you file online).
If you didn’t send an online return last year, allow extra time (up to 20 working days) as you’ll need to register first.
Who must send a tax return
The tax year is from 6 April to 5 April the following year.
You’ll need to send a tax return if, in the last tax year:
- you were self-employed – you can deduct allowable expenses
- you got £2,500 or more in untaxed income, eg from renting out a property or savings and investments – contact the helpline if it was less than £2,500
- your savings or investment income was £10,000 or more before tax
- you made profits from selling things like shares, a second home or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax
- you were a company director – unless it was for a non-profit organisation (eg a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car
- your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit
- you had income from abroad that you needed to pay tax on
- you lived abroad and had a UK income
- you got dividends from shares and you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer – but if you don’t need to send a return for any other reason, contact the helpline instead
- your income was over £100,000
- you were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
Certain other people may need to send a return (eg religious ministers or Lloyd’s underwriters) – you can check whether you need to. You usually won’t need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension.
If you get an email or letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) telling you to send a return, you must send it – even if you don’t have any tax to pay.
Registering for Self Assessment
You need to register if you didn’t send a tax return last year. How you do this depends on whether:
- you’re self-employed
- you need to send a return for another reason
If you’re new to Self Assessment, you’ll need to keep records (eg bank statements or receipts) so you can fill in your tax return correctly.
We aim to spare you all these headaches and free up your valuable time by offering a comprehensive Individual Self Assessment service, including:
- Liaising with your bank, building society, stockbrokers etc to gather the relevant data for your annual returns
- Calculating your tax liability
- Completing and filing your tax return on your behalf
- Advising you when various payments are due and how much to pay
- Advising on appropriate record retention
- Introducing you to any relevant tax saving ideas
- Representing you in the event of your being selected for investigation by HMRC