Do I need to file a tax return

If you're starting to panic about the Self Assessment deadline this blog will tell you when you need to file a tax return.

file a tax return

There are three circumstances when you need to file a tax return.

  • You have a realised a capital gain or have income to report and you must notify HMRC of chargeability
  • You are sent a notice to file a tax return by HMRC
  • You wish to claim a tax repayment or make a claim for relief

Do I need to file a tax return - notification of chargeability

You must file a tax return, without any prompting from HMRC, if you are required to notify of chargeability.

You are required to notify of chargeability in the following circumstances

  • You've received income from an employment that hasn't been taxed under PAYE

You have any other untaxed income or are liable to tax at the higher rates. For example

  • You receive untaxed rental income
  • You receive income in excess of £100,000 a year and this restricts your personal allowance
  • You receive income as a sole trader or from a partnership 
  • You are a non-UK resident landlord receiving rental income

The above list is by no means exhaustive.

Do I need to file a tax return - you are sent a notice to complete a tax return

If HMRC send you a notice to file a tax return then you must do so.

If you receive a notice to file you shouldn't ignore it even if you don't have anything to report. If HMRC have issued a notice to complete they will expect you to file a tax return. If you fail to submit a tax return or get HMRC to withdraw their notice you will be liable to a late filing penalty.

Do I need to file a tax return - claiming a relief or tax repayment

You can register for Self Assessment and file a tax return so that you can:

  • Claim a relief or allowance that must be made on the return - for example a claim under the EIS scheme
  • Claim expenses or allowances relating to your employment which have not been obtained via your employer or PAYE code. For example mileage allowance paid at less than the statutory rates.
  • Notify HMRC of your tax residence status or domicile

You might be able to claim a tax repayment without filing a tax return. For example by writing to HMRC asking them to adjust your PAYE code to include expenses.

However be aware that HMRC's guidance and procedures are constantly changing and it's always sensible to seek advice where appropriate. 

Finally, If you are a company director and you're still not sure whether you might need to file a tax return then refer to our previous blog for more details

For more useful information, check out our Ebooks here.

And if you'd like to know how we can help you with all of this, or with anything else, feel free to give us a call on 01202 048696 or email us at richard@tfaaccountants.co.uk.

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