Do I need to complete a self assessment?

You will need to complete a self assessment or personal tax return if any of the following apply to you:

C– You are self-employed

– Your annual earnings from all sources are £100,000 or more

– You are a director of a limited company

– You have income of £10,000 or more from savings or investments

– You receive £2,500 or more from renting out property

– You have £10,000 or more income from savings or investments

– Your income is £50,000 or more and you or your partner receive child benefit

Further details about each of these circumstances are provided below. There are also other situations in which a self assessment may need to be completed but those listed above are the most common reasons that individuals are brought into the self assessment net.

If one of the above applied to you for the first time during the 2017/18 tax year (i.e., from 6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018) then you must notify HMRC of the need to complete a self assessment as soon as possible and by 5 October 2018 at the latest.  This can be done on HMRC’s website here.

HMRC will then send you a tax return to complete which will be due by 31 January 2019, along with any tax liability. Any delays in registering for self assessment, completing the self assessment or paying the tax due could result in penalties and interest.

If you receive a request to complete a tax return for 2017/18 from HMRC and don’t believe that you need to complete one, it is essential to contact HMRC and notify them as soon as possible to avoid penalties after the deadline passes on 31 January 2019.

Self Employment

If you are self-employed you must declare the income and expenses from your business on a tax return so that HMRC know how much tax and class 4 national insurance to collect from you.  Any income tax and national insurance due must be paid by 31 January following the end of the tax year.  HMRC will also require a ‘payment on account’ which is an estimate of the tax liability for the current tax year and is based on the most recent tax return.  Payments on account are required to be paid twice a year on 31 January and 31 July.

Annual Earnings over £100,000

If your annual earnings from all sources of income exceed £100,000 then a self assessment must be completed.  This is the case even if all of your income is taxed at source under the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) scheme.

Company Directors

If you are a director of a limited company then you must complete a self assessment on which any salary and dividends paid to you from the company are disclosed, in addition to income earned from any other sources.

Savings, Investment and Property Income

If the majority of your income is taxed at source under PAYE then you may be able to pay any additional tax due on income from savings, investments and/or property via your PAYE code rather than having to complete a self assessment.  However, if the income from these sources exceeds the following thresholds then you must complete a self assessment:

  • £10,000 or more from taxed savings or investments
  • £2,500 or more from untaxed savings or investments
  • £2,500 or more from renting out property

High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge

If you or your partner earn £50,000 or more and are in receipt of child benefit then the high income child benefit tax charge will apply to you.  If you earn between £50,000 and £60,000 then a proportion of the child benefit charge received during the tax year will need to be repaid via a self assessment.  If you earn £60,000 or more then all of the child benefit must be repaid.

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