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Self Assessement 2018/19: Who must send a tax return?

The tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April the following year.

You will need to send a tax return if, in the last tax year if:

  • Your income from self employment and was more than £1,000 - this is your ‘Trading Allowance’
  • You got more than £2,500 from renting out
  • You got more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
  • Your income from savings or investments was £10,000 or more before tax
  • Your income from dividends from shares was £10,000 or more before tax. You need to inform HMRC if it was over your dividends allowance
  • You made a profit from selling things like shares, a second home or other chageable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  • You were a company director - unless it was for a non-profit organisation (such as a charity) and you did not 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 fromabroad that you needed to pay tax on
  • You lived abroad and had a UK income
  • Your taxable income was over £100,000
  • You were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
  • You had a P800 from HMRC saying you did not pay enough tax last year - and you did not pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment
  • Your State Pension was more than your Personal Allowance and was your only source of income - unless you started getting your pension on or after 6 April 2016

You also need to send a tax return if you:

  • Need to prove you’re self-employed, for example to claim Tax-Free Childcare
  • Want to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance payments to help you qualify for benefits

Certain other people may need to send a return (for example religious ministers or Lloyd’s underwriters). You won’t usually need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension.

If you’ve been told to send a return

If you get an email or letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) telling you to send a return but you do not think you need to you must check with the HMRC to see if you need to.

If you do not need to send a return, you must tell HMRC either:

  • Online - you’ll need to set up a Government Gateway account if you do not have one
  • Bycontacting HMRC by post or phone

If you fail to contact HMRC you may be subject to a penalty.

You must also tell HMRC if you’ve stopped being self-employed and your new employment circumstances.

Claiming tax relief

You can fill in a tax return to claim money back from HMRC for:

  • Charitable donations
  • Private pension contributions as a higher or additionalrate taxpayer, or if your scheme is not set up for automatic tax relief
  • Work expensesover £2,500 - if they’re less and you do not need to send a return for any other reason you need to inform HMRC

Registering for Self Assessment

You need to register if you did not send a tax return last year. There are different ways to register but the online HMRC links are very easy to follow and choose you relevant return if you are:

  • Self-employed or a sole trader
  • Not self-employed
  • Registering a partner or Partnership

If you’re new to Self Assessment it’s imperative you keep good financial records i.e. bank statements and receipts so you can fill in your tax return correctly. These days, the easiest and most flexible way to complete your Task Return is by using a HMRC Recognised Self Assessment Software and Accounting Solution