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There are just under four months to go before the tax returns for 2017/18 are due for filing and payment.

Every year we are asked the same thing – ‘Do I need to fill in a tax return?’.  Here is our answer to that question, plus the other four we always get asked as well:

  1. Do I need to fill in a tax return? 

You’ll need to send HMRC a self assessment tax return if any of the following apply, in the last tax year:

  • you were self-employed – you can deduct allowable expenses
  • you got £2,500 or more in untaxed income, for example from tips or renting out a property – contact the helpline if it was less than £2,500
  • your income from savings or investments was £10,000 or more before tax
  • your income from dividends from shares was £10,000 or more before tax
  • you made profits from selling things like shares, a second home or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax
  • you were a company director – unless it was for a non-profit organisation (such as a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car
  • your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit
  • you had income from abroad that you needed to pay tax on
  • you lived abroad and had a UK income
  • your taxable income was over £100,000
  • you were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
  • you had a P800 from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year – and you didn’t pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment
  • your State Pension was more than your Personal Allowance and was your only source of income – unless you started getting your pension on or after 6 April 2016.

Certain other people may need to send a return (for example ministers of religion or Lloyd’s underwriters) – you can check whether you need to file directly with HMRC. You usually won’t need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension.  If you are a Director of a company HMRC will expect a tax return as a default unless they have been informed that none of the above apply, so make sure you contact HMRC if you don’t think you need to file so you avoid any nasty surprise fines.


  1. How do I know how much tax I owe?

Your accountant will work out all your income and the relevant tax rates that apply to it.  They will calculate how much tax and National Insurance contributions you owe for the current year, and whether any payment on account is due for the following year.  If applicable, you may also have student loan repayments to make.

  1. How do I register to view my HMRC online account?

You can register on GOV.UK.  During registration, you’ll be given a User ID and will be asked to choose a password – naturally, you’ll need these when you login again so keep them safe.

HMRC will then send you an activation code either by text or post. Once you’ve activated the service, you can login to view your account, showing what has been filed and what is due.  The account can take up to 48 hours to update for new information so do not panic if it does not show a filing or payment immediately.

  1. I’ve lost my User ID and password, what do I do?

It happens to the best of us! If you have problems signing in, there are a number of ways to reset and gain access to your tax account. Watch the HMRC tutorial below to find out more:

  1. When does my 2017/18 return need to be completed?

Your online Self Assessment tax return needs to be received by HMRC- along with any tax due – by midnight 31 January 2019, otherwise you will receive a £100 fine.  If you wish to send a paper copy the deadline is earlier.

If you have any questions about this – or any other part of your tax return – get in touch with us on the details above.