Who must send a tax return

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, for example from tips or renting out a property - contact the helpline if it was less than £2,500
  • your income from savings or investments was £10,000 or more before tax
  • your income from dividends from shares 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 (such as 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
  • your taxable 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
  • your State Pension was more than your Personal Allowance and was your only source of income - unless you started getting your pension on or after 6 April 2016

Certain other people may need to send a return (for example 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’ve been told to send a return

If you get an email or letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) telling you to send a return but you don’t think you need to, check if you need to send a return.

If you don’t need to send a return, you must tell HMRC either:

  • online - you’ll need to set up a Government Gateway account if you don’t have one
  • by phone or post

You may have to pay a penalty if you don’t tell HMRC.

You must also tell HMRC if you’ve stopped being self-employed.

Claiming tax relief

Fill in a tax return to claim money back from HMRC for:

Registering for Self Assessment

You need to register if you didn’t send a tax return last year. There are different ways to register if you’re:

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.