Quick guide – do I need to complete a self-assessment form?
There is often some confusion among people around self-assessment and whether they need to complete a self-assessment tax form.
The majority of us are honest when it comes to paying taxes – but not always in-the-know about the best or easiest ways to do so.
Self-assessment forms are not just for people who are self-employed – they are needed for those who may be earning income in ways other than their main job, such as from savings or other small ways of making additional income. However, if the income is below £2,500, there may not be a requirement to fill one out and instead, it could be simply deducted from pay packets once the amount owed has been ascertained.
There are questions, however, which provide a quick way of establishing whether or not there is a requirement to fill out a self-assessment tax form – as set out by HMRC. Anyone answering ‘yes’ to any of the following questions will have to fill one out:
- Were you self-employed or a partner in the business at any time during the year?
- Were you a company director?
- Did you receive more than £10,000 in investment and savings income?
- Did you receive more than £2,500 in untaxed income?
- Did you receive income from letting out property?
- Did you receive foreign income liable to UK tax?
- Are you an employee claiming expenses or professional subscriptions of £2,500 or more?
Those answering ‘no’ to the questions can simply call HMRC and answer a few questions over the phone instead of completing the time-consuming task of filling out a self-assessment tax form.
The above mainly applies where a person’s tax affairs are fairly simple. For any complex cases or in the event of real uncertainty, those with an accountant should consult with them, or get in touch with HMRC directly. It is important to find out whether or not it is required to fill one out as, failure to do so, could result in a penalty if it was discovered that one needed to be filled in.