Why have I been sent a self assessment tax return?

HMRC only issue a self assessment tax return when they deem it necessary.

For most people filing a tax return is not necessary, the majority of employed people pay the correct amount of tax through the PAYE system. However if you are self employed, tax is not taken from your wages through PAYE and so you must complete a self assessment tax return to ensure you pay the correct amount of tax.

Other than self employment, common reasons for needing to fill in a tax return are;

  • You Incur work related expenses over £2500 and are employed under PAYE – for example a joiner who travels to different sites and pays for his own travel
  • You’re a company director, minister, Lloyd’s name or member
  • Your annual income is £100,000 or more
  • You have income from savings, investment or property- above a certain level
  • You receive taxable income from overseas
  • You are over 65 and receiving a reduced age-related allowance
  • You are required to pay tax that cannot be collected through PAYE
  • You are a non resident landlord

If HMRC has asked you to complete a tax return but you don’t fit in to any of the above criteria and think you don’t need it, call the HMRC Self Assessment Helpline. They will tell you why you were sent the return and whether you still need to complete it.

If your circumstances have changed and you’re not sure if you need to complete 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. You may owe tax if certain circumstances have changed, for example:

  • you start to pay tax at the higher rate on your earnings and have investment income that needs to be taxed at the higher rate
  • you don’t have a tax code, but your taxable income increases and is more than the tax allowances you are entitled to