2. 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, you must send it - even if you don’t have any tax to pay.
If you used to send a tax return but don’t need to send one for the last tax year, you can contact HMRC to close your Self Assessment account.
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:
- 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. 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.