Before we get into the seasonal swing of things, can we talk taxes? Although many of us are about to wind down for Christmas, now is actually a perfect time to get ahead for the new year and start gathering everything we will need to prepare for HMRC’s self-assessment tax return.
If you have been wondering whether you need to complete a tax return, the following guide should give you all of the basic information you need. For further details please head to https://www.gov.uk/check-if-you-need-tax-return.
Do I need to complete a self-assessment tax return?
Most people are taxed at the source and do not need to worry about submitting a self-assessment tax return, “however, if in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April ) you have worked as self-employed or as a partner and/or earned more than £1,000 (before taking off anything you can claim tax relief on)then you must register as self-employed with HMRC.
It’s also worth noting that any directors of limited companies that wish to receive dividends must also be registered as self-employed to ensure they are correctly taxed.”
You will not usually need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension. But you may need to send one if you have any other untaxed income, such as:
- money from renting out a property
- tips and commission
- income from savings, investments and dividends
- foreign income
HMRC may contact you with a tax return to complete if:
- You have untaxed income from investment, land or property, or from overseas.
- You make capital gains above the annual exempt amount (£12,300 for 2020-21 and 2021-22). you were required to fill in a tax return last year.
- You’re a pensioner who gets a reduced age-related allowance, though you may be sent a special short version that requires fewer details.
It is however your responsibility to make sure that you declare all taxable income, on time. If you receive a tax return, you must return it, regardless of whether you owe tax or not.
How to register and submit a tax return
If you’re looking to submit a tax return for the first time, you’ll need to register for self-assessment first. The steps are below.
Register with HMRC: The process will vary depending on whether you’re self-employed, registering a partnership or not self-employed – you should click on the option that applies to you. You can register online via HMRC.
Get your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number: HMRC will send this to you in a letter after you register. The letter will give instructions on how to set up your Government Gateway account.
Use your activation code for your Government Gateway account: Once this is done, you’ll be sent another letter in the post containing your activation code. You’ll need this to complete the set-up of your account – you should do this promptly as the code will expire.
Complete your account setup: It’s only once your Government Gateway account is up and running that you’ll be able to log in and submit your tax return.
HMRC warns that the whole process could take up to 20 working days, so make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute.
What are the deadlines for completing a tax return
The deadline for completing a self-assessment tax returns are:
5 October 2021: Deadline to register for self-assessment for the first time
31 October 2021: paper tax return deadline 31 January 2022: online tax return deadline (HMRC says you can submit up to 28 February 2021 without getting an instant penalty)
31 January 2022: tax payment deadline for 2020-21 tax owed, plus any outstanding tax from 2019-20 if you took out a payment arrangement with HMRC. If you pay your tax by payments on account you may have already made payments towards this bill.
HMRC has the power to charge increasingly expensive penalties if you miss the tax return deadline, which starts with a £100 fine from the first day your return is late.
If you need help completing your tax return, our experienced and professional Accountancy team can carry out the leg work for you, ensuring a smooth, simple and stress-free process. Contact Vicky by telephone 0207 952 1460 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org