What is a self-assessment tax return?
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 (including COVID-19 grants and support payments) must report it in a tax return.
If you need to send a Self Assessment tax return, fill it in after the end of the tax year (5 April) it applies to.
Who must send a tax return
You must send a tax return if, in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April), you were:
- self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000 (before taking off anything you can claim tax relief on)
- a partner in a business partnership
You will not usually need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension. But you may need to send one if you have any other untaxed income, such as:
- Some COVID-19 grant or support payments
- money from renting out a property
- tips and commission
- income from savings, investments and dividends
- foreign income
Registering and sending a return
You need to register if you did not send a tax return last year. There are different ways to register if you’re:
- Self-employed or a sole trader
- Not self-employed
- Registering a partner or partnership
If you’re new to Self Assessment, you’ll need to keep records (for example bank statements or receipts) so you can fill in your tax return correctly.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive your tax return and any money you owe by the deadline.
You’ll get a penalty if you need to send a tax return and you miss the deadline for submitting it or paying your bill.
You’ll pay a late filing penalty of £100 if your tax return is up to 3 months late. You’ll have to pay more if it’s later, or if you pay your tax bill late.
You’ll be charged interest on late payments.
Estimate your penalty for Self Assessment tax returns more than 3 months late, and late payments.
You can appeal against a penalty if you have a reasonable excuse.
If you need help with Self Assessment, you can:
- appoint someone to fill in and send your tax return, for example an accountant, friend or relative – you can find an accountant accredited in the UK
- watch videos and join webinars
- contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for general Self Assessment enquiries
- get help with your online account
Do you need help with your tax returns? Book in a call with Lucy below, at a time that suits you.