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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.
On this page:
You can see the most common reasons for needing to fill in a tax return below.
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.
You must complete a return if you're any of the following:
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.
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:
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.
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:
You must complete a tax return if you have any foreign income that's liable to UK tax.
You must complete a return if you receive income (or are treated as receiving income) on which tax is still due, for example from:
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.
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:
You'll need a tax return if you're a:
If HMRC has asked you to complete a tax return and you've checked the information above and think you don't need one, call the Self Assessment Helpline. They will tell you whether you still need to complete a tax return.
If you don't currently complete a tax return but your circumstances change, you need to tell HMRC.
If you've checked the sections above and you need a tax return, follow the link below to register for Self Assessment.
If you're not sure if you need a tax return, contact the Self Assessment Helpline. They will tell you whether you need a tax return or whether you can pay the tax due in some other way instead.
For example, you may owe tax as:
You need to register for Self Assessment before you can get a tax return. HMRC will use the information you provide to set up the right records for you and will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference. You'll then receive a letter, each year usually in April or May, telling you to complete your return. You can send your tax return online or on paper but there are lots of benefits to sending it online.
There are different types of tax returns depending on the type of income you have. Find out more using the links below.
You can save time and paperwork by sending your return online. You'll receive an automatic acknowledgment and also find out what you owe or are due back right away, because the figures are calculated for you instantly.