General Guidelines for HMRC Self-Assessment

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Making a tax return in the UK is more straightforward than most realise. The following is a simple guide to self-assessment tax returns. These typically are only submitted by those who are self-employed, but there may be other circumstances where it may be necessary. HM Revenue and Customs should be contacted if you have any questions about filing a return. The National Insurance number may also be used to speak with an agent regarding taxation in the United Kingdom.

Firstly, who must fill out a self-assessment tax return? The majority of UK taxpayers pay tax via the PAYE system and have taxes deducted from their pay or wages. These do not need to complete a self-assessment. However, about nine million people do need to fill in a self-assessment tax return and submit this to their local tax office. This list includes people who are self-employed, business partners, or directors of companies.

It also includes employees or pensioners who earn more than £100,00 a year, those with investment income of more than £10,000, or those with more than £2,500 in untaxed income from land or investments in the UK or overseas. It also includes trustees and those representing someone deceased, anyone who is a religious minister, and those who have made a capital gain which is above an exempted amount. It you submitted a self-assessment last year, you will need to send one again this year for the current tax year.

If you are new to self-assessment, you should register in advance. Once you have registered, you can then complete the HMRC self-assessment tax return. You can fill in the forms yourself or have an accountant or have an agent do so on your behalf. You also use the self-assessment tax return in order to claim tax relief. You should complete a tax return to claim money back from HM Revenue and Customs if you have made certain charitable donations or have made certain private pension donations which aren’t automatically subject to tax relief.

You should also submit the self-assessment form if you are entitled to claim back for work expenses which exceed £2,500. Those with work expenses of a smaller amount who don’t have any other reason to submit the form should call the HMRC phone number for advice on whether they need to submit a form. Remember if you receive a self-assessment form from HMRC you are legally obliged to complete it and submit to it to the tax office. You must submit the form whether you are due to pay any tax or not. You can do this by post or online. The deadline for paper returns is in October, but those filling online get some extra time and can file as late as January.

Whether you submit hard copy or file electronically, you should submit always meet tax obligations on time because there are hefty penalties for late filing and the tax office is not obligated to accept excuses. If you pass the January deadline, you will automatically incur a £100 fine. The longer you delay the more penalties you will pay. If you have already missed the deadline, HMRC contact is highly recommended.

HMRC calculates how much tax you owe based on the information which you report. The whole process is really very straight forward, but needless to say it is extremely important to fill in the forms truthfully, accurately, and carefully so your tax bill is correct. When you bill is issued you must pay on time or risk penalties for late payment. If you do have any questions, use the HMRC contact number to call and speak with an agent.