Check If You Need to Complete a Self Assessment Tax Return

Every year, millions of people in the UK are required to complete a Self Assessment tax return. But if you’ve had a change in your circumstances, you might find yourself in the position of needing to do it for the first time. The tax year 2022 to 2023 brings some changes, and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding people to double-check if they fall into this category.

The Quick and Easy Online Checking Tool

To determine whether you need to complete a Self Assessment tax return, you can use the free online checking tool on the government website GOV.UK. It’s a quick and easy way to find out if you’re required to self-assess. If you do need to complete a tax return, you can also register with HMRC using the same tool. The deadline for registration is 5 October.

Common Circumstances Requiring a Tax Return

There are several situations that may trigger the need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. These include:

  1. Newly Self-Employed: If you’ve recently become self-employed and have earned more than £1,000, you’ll need to file a tax return.
  2. Multiple Sources of Income: If you have income from various sources, such as employment and rental properties, you must complete a tax return.
  3. Untaxed Income: If you’ve received any untaxed income, such as earning money from creating online content, it’s necessary to declare it in a tax return.
  4. High Earnings: If you earn more than £100,000 per year, you are required to file a tax return.
  5. Property Rental Income: If you own a property that you rent out, you must report the income by completing a tax return.
  6. Business Partnership: If you’ve become a new partner in a business partnership, you’ll need to file a tax return.
  7. Child Benefit: If you or your partner claim Child Benefit and either of you have an income above £50,000, a Self Assessment tax return is necessary.
  8. Interest and Dividends: If you receive interest from banks or building societies exceeding £10,000, or dividends over £10,000, you need to report these in a tax return.
  9. Capital Gains Tax: If you’ve made any gains from the sale of assets subject to Capital Gains Tax, it’s essential to file a Self Assessment tax return.
  10. Voluntary National Insurance Contributions: If you’re self-employed and earn less than £1,000 but wish to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions voluntarily, you should complete a tax return to protect your entitlement to the State Pension and certain benefits.

Do You No Longer Need to Complete a Tax Return?

On the other hand, if your circumstances have changed, and you no longer meet any of the above criteria, you may no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. This could be if you have given up work, retired, or your earnings have fallen below the minimum income thresholds. To confirm this, you can use the online checking tool on GOV.UK.

Avoid Penalties, Report Changes on Time

Whether you do or don’t need to complete a Self Assessment tax return, it’s crucial to communicate any changes to HMRC promptly. If you no longer need to file a tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, make sure to inform HMRC before the deadline, which is on 31 January 2024. Failing to do so could result in penalties.

Registering for Self Assessment

If you find that you do need to complete a tax return, you can register for Self Assessment on GOV.UK. Once you have registered, you will receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which you need when filling out your tax return.

HMRC Resources to Help You File a Tax Return

Filing a tax return can be a daunting task, especially for first-time filers. However, HMRC provides various resources to assist you in the process. They offer a series of video tutorials on YouTube and a step-by-step guide on their website, which can be particularly helpful for anyone filing for the first time.

Beware of Scams

It’s important to be vigilant and protect yourself from scams when dealing with HMRC. Never share your HMRC login details with anyone, including tax agents if you have one. HMRC provides advice on avoiding scams on GOV.UK, and it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with their guidance to stay safe.

Taking the time to check whether you need to complete a Self Assessment tax return can save you from potential penalties and ensure you are meeting your tax obligations. Use the online checking tool provided by HMRC and take advantage of their resources to navigate the process smoothly.