Am I liable to submit a tax return?

Self Assessment is a system HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses to collect Income Tax. Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. People and businesses with other income must report it in a tax return. This can be done on paper or on-line.

For most employees, a tax return will not be required by HMRC if the income they receive is taxed before receipt and is subject to only basic rate tax deductions (20%). If HMRC has already identified that you need to complete a return, they will either send you a paper return or, if you have previously filed online, a notice to file, shortly after the end of the tax year on 5 April.

Reasons why you might have to submit a tax return are described on the GOV.UK web site and by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group. If you are in any doubt whether you should be completing a return, you can contact the HMRC about Self Assessment on 0300 200 3310.

It could be the case, if your finances are complicated or you are a higher rate tax payer, but the reasons listed include:

  • having income above a certain level from savings, investments or property;
  • having an annual income in excess of £100,000;
  • working for yourself (i.e. self-employed);
  • being a company director (excluding not-for-profit organisations);
  • being a minister of religion (any faith or denomination);
  • being a partner in a business; or
  • being a trustee or the executor of an estate.
  • making profits from selling things like shares or a second home;
  • making a Child Benefit claim if your income (or your partner’s) is over £50,000;
  • regular annual income from a trust or settlement; or
  • income from the estate of a deceased person and further tax is due.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.