Do you need to complete a tax return?

It’s that time of year again. People up and down the country are receiving letters from HMRC telling them to complete their tax return. But if you haven’t received a letter yet, what do you need to do? Ruth Anscombe of Vanilla Online Accountancy has the answer.

It’s up to you to let HMRC know if you have income on which tax is due to be paid. Even if you are employed and have tax and national insurance deducted from your pay at source, you may need to complete a tax return – and if you are self-employed you definitely need to.

If you don’t let HMRC know that you have income to declare, the fines and interest on tax not paid can be substantial. So it’s always a good idea to call the HMRC self assessment helpline on 0845 900 0444 and talk through your circumstances if you’re in any doubt.

The common reasons for completing a self assessment tax return include:

  • You are a self-employed sole trader or partner in a partnership.
  • You are employed and want to claim work expenses or professional subscriptions of more than £2,500.
  • Your income is over £50,000 and you or your partner have received Child Benefit after 7 January 2013.
  • You have income from savings and investments of £10,000 or more.
  • You have income from property of £10,000 or more before allowable expenses, or £2,500 or more after allowable expenses.
  • You have sold assets like shares or property which mean you need to pay Capital Gains Tax on the profit.
  • Your income is more than £100,000 a year.

If you do need to register with HMRC the good news is you can easily do it all online.