Self assessment – who needs to fill in a tax return?

Most normal ’employees’ have tax deducted at source via the PAYE system and are unlikely to have to fill in a tax return unless they receive other income.

When you start a business, you will join the ranks of those that fall under the self assessment tax regime.

The following groups of people are required to complete tax returns each year:

  • If you are self employed, that is if you are a sole trader or working in a partnership.
  • If you are a director of a limited company.
  • If you have income from savings, investments, property or overseas investments.
  • If you have other untaxed income which isn’t collected at source (via PAYE) – such as occasional freelance work, or investment income.
  • If you earn over £100,000 a year.
  • If you earn over £50,000 and you, or your partner, receive Child Benefit.
  • If you need to pay Capital Gains Tax.
  • If you want to claim any tax relief through schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme relief or Venture Capital Trusts.

In addition to these main groups, there are other more select groups such as; pension scheme trustees, and ministers of religion – but we won’t include them all here.

Which type of tax return?

The type of self assessment form your will need to complete will depend on your employment status. If you are a director of a limited company, or an ‘individual’, you fill out the ‘standard’ self assessment form (or a ‘short’ version if your affairs are very simple).

If you are self employed or in a partnership, you will need to fill in a specific type of tax return form for the self employed. You can read full details on the HMRC site – you should automatically receive this form each year once you have registered as self employed.

You can ask your local tax office for a tax return form if you are not sent one automatically during April.

If your circumstances have changed, for example, if you have become a landlord, or have done some extra freelance work – you need to contact your local tax office and let them know.

Also read HMRC’s dedicated pages explaining whether you need to complete a self assessment return.

Bytestart Limited

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