The tax year is from 6 April to 5 April the following year.
You’ll need to send a tax return if, in the last tax year:
- you were self-employed - you can deduct allowable expenses
- you got £2,500 or more in untaxed income, eg from renting out a property or savings and investments - contact the helpline if it was less than £2,500
- your savings or investment income was £10,000 or more before tax
- you made profits from selling things like shares, a second home or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax
- you were a company director - unless it was for a non-profit organisation (eg a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car
- your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit
- you had income from abroad that you needed to pay tax on
- you lived abroad and had a UK income
- you got dividends from shares and you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer - but if you don’t need to send a return for any other reason, contact the helpline instead
- your income was over £100,000
- you were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
- you had a P800 from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year - and you didn’t pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment
Certain other people may need to send a return (eg religious ministers or Lloyd’s underwriters) - you can check whether you need to. You usually won’t need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension.
If you get an email or letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) telling you to send a return, you must send it - even if you don’t have any tax to pay.
Claiming tax relief
Fill in a tax return to claim money back from HMRC for:
- donations to charity
- private pension contributions as a higher or additional rate taxpayer, or if your scheme isn’t set up for automatic tax relief
- work expenses over £2,500 - if they’re less and you don’t need to send a return for any other reason, contact the helpline instead
Registering for Self Assessment
You need to register if you didn’t send a tax return last year. How you do this depends on whether:
If you’re new to Self Assessment, you’ll need to keep records (eg bank statements or receipts) so you can fill in your tax return correctly.