For a tax return there are two separate deadlines – one for the paper return and the other for electronic filing. For paper filing for the tax year ended 5 April 2013, known as tax year 2012-13, the deadline is at the end of next month, 31 October. And if you miss the 31 October paper filing deadline, then you can only file electronically on 31 January 2014. If you have relatively straightforward tax affairs and already pay tax through PAYE (Pay As You Earn) you probably won’t need to complete a tax return. But if you have income from self-employment or above a certain level you may need to complete one.
What are the most common reasons for needing to fill in a tax return?
1. You're self-employed
You have to complete a return for each year you were self-employed (or a partner in a partnership). You need to complete a tax return even if you make a loss or if it’s your final year of trading.
2. You're a company director, minister, Lloyd's name or member
You must complete a return if you’re any of the following:
3. Your annual income is £100,000 or more
If you receive total income of £100,000 or more you’ll need to complete a tax return. You may have higher or additional rate tax to pay that hasn’t been collected through your tax code.
4. You have income from savings, investment or property
If you are an employee or a pensioner and already pay tax through a PAYE code, you can sometimes ask for tax that you owe on income, such as savings and property, to be collected through your code number. You’ll need to complete a tax return instead if the income you receive is:
If you don’t pay tax through a PAYE code you’ll need to complete a tax return if all of the following apply:
5. You need to claim expenses or reliefs
If you’re employed and want to claim expenses or professional subscriptions of £2,500 or more, you’ll need to complete a tax return. If you want to claim expenses below this amount, you can contact HMRC.
You can only claim certain reliefs, such as Enterprise Investment Scheme relief or relief on Venture Capital Trusts, by completing a tax return.
6. You or your partner receive Child Benefit and your income is over £50,000
The new High Income Child Benefit tax charge, introduced on 7 January 2013, may mean you need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the first time. You must complete a tax return if all of the following apply:
What this means is you will be looking at a minimum fine of £1,600 if HMRC fails to see your tax return within a year. Penalties are not the best way to spend your hard-earned cash. We think it’s better to pour yourself a cup of coffee and get started.
7. You get income from overseas
You must complete a tax return if you have any foreign income that’s liable to UK tax.
8. You have income from trusts, settlements and estates
You must complete a return if you receive income (or are treated as receiving income) on which tax is still due, for example from:
9. You have Capital Gains Tax to pay
If you have Capital Gains Tax to pay, for example you’ve sold, given away or otherwise disposed of an asset such as a holiday home or shares, you’ll need to complete a tax return and the Capital Gains Tax pages.
10. You've lived or worked abroad or aren't domiciled in the UK
Residency is a complex issue. Follow the link below to find out more about your residency status, the remittance basis and what to do next.
You may need to complete a tax return if you’re:
11. You're a trustee
You’ll need a tax return if you’re a:
If you have tried filing your tax in the past, but now think perhaps it wasn’t the most efficient way, contact a qualified personal tax accountant for advice.