What Is Self-Assessment?

A self-assessment is a system HM Revenue and Customs uses to collect Income Tax. Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. Individuals and businesses with other income must report it in a tax return.

If you need to send one, you fill it in after the end of the tax year (5th April) it applies to.

Do I Need To Send A Self-Assessment?

You’ll need to send a self-assessment if, in the last tax year;

  • You were self employed.
  • You got £2,500 or more in untaxed income.
  • Your savings or investment income 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.
  • Your income 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.
  • You got dividends from shares and you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer.
  • Your income was over £100,000
  • You were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme.

How Long Is A Tax Year?

The UK tax year runs from the 6th April to the 5th April each year, a 12 month period. This is regardless of the date of registration for self-employment.

For example if Mr Smith decides to register as self-employed on the 30th November 2014, his first tax return will cover the period from 30th November 2014 to 6th April 2015. Then after this his tax year will run from the 6th April to 5th April the following year. If he did not have any income for this period he is still required by law to submit a self-assessment. If HMRC receives no return then they will impose penalties for failure to deliver a self-assessment.

Sending Your Return

Send your tax return by the deadline (31st January if you file online).

If you did not file your return online last year, allow extra time (up to 20 working days) as you’ll need to register first.

The following deadline applies to sending your self-assessment tax return to HM Revenue and Customs and paying money you owe.

For the tax year 6th April 2014 – 5th April 2015.


Register for Self-Assessment

Register by 5th October 2015

Paper tax returns

Midnight 31st October 2015

Online tax returns

Midnight 31st January 2016

Payment of tax you owe

Midnight 31st January 2016

There is an additional payment deadline of 31st July if you make advance payments towards your bill known as payments on account.

Therefore we send tax returns within 9 months of the date the tax year ended. There will be penalties on your account for late filing so it is important to meet all relevant deadlines.