Time to Check Your Tax! Are You Due for a Self Assessment?

If you’ve ever thought that tax returns are just for the self-employed, think again. It might surprise you to find out that many people need to fill out a self assessment tax return for various reasons. And if this is your first time, you’ll want to make sure you’re all signed up by 5 October.

1. Who Usually Does This Tax Return Thing Anyway?

Most of us believe it’s just those brave souls who decide to work for themselves. While that’s a significant portion, there are a few other reasons why your neighbour might be filling out that self assessment form too.

2. Paying into Your Pension? Look Out.

If you’re one of those good folks who put money into a personal pension, here’s the scoop:

  • You get a pat on the back in the form of a 20% tax relief on what you pay. But, if you want the rest, you have to claim it through a tax return.
  • If you’re part of a workplace pension, things get a bit tricky. Some pensions, like the ‘net pay’ ones, are simple – your boss pays in before tax, so you get full tax relief without lifting a finger. Others, called ‘relief at source’ pensions, mean you get 20% and then you have to chase the rest yourself.

Unsure about your scheme? A quick chat with your employer will clear things up.

3. Receiving Child Benefit with Earnings Between £50,000 and £60,000?

If that’s a ‘yes’, then you might need a tax return to sort out the high income child benefit tax charge. In simple terms: for every extra £100 you earn over £50,000, you pay back 1% of your child benefit. Don’t worry; they’ll do the maths for you when you input the details.

4. Sold Something and Made a Nice Profit?

Say you sold a painting you found in your attic and made more than £6,000 in profit. Well, then you’re looking at a tax return. The only exception? If you gifted it to your partner or spouse.

5. Got a Side Business?

Whether you’re selling handmade crafts, vintage clothes on eBay, or renting out your home on Airbnb, listen up! If you make over:

  • £1,000 from these little ventures or
  • £7,500 from renting out a room

You’ll need to sign up for that self assessment.

6. Donating to Charity?

For those generous folks giving money to charity, if you’re a higher earner, you might benefit from a tax return. You already get a 20% gift aid, but if you want the rest of your tax back, you might want to fill out that form.

7. And Many More…

From earning a bit overseas, having more than £10,000 in savings, or even if you’re spreading the good word as a vicar, there are lots of reasons you might need to do this self assessment thing.

Not sure? A quick visit to the official gov.uk website might be your best bet.

Remember, don’t leave it to the last minute. The deadline’s approaching, so make sure you’re all set for 5 October!