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Who needs to file a tax return?

We've updated this guide on 12th February 2021

Most people in the UK do not need to file a tax return because they pay tax at source.

However, there are a few situations when you do need to file a personal tax return (also called a “Self Assessment”).

1. If you have any untaxed income

2. If you want to claim a tax refund

  • if you work in the construction industry through the CIS scheme
  • if you’ve made investments in SEIS or EIS eligible startups or VCT funds
  • if you’ve made donations to charity
  • if you’ve made private pension contributions as a higher rate taxpayer
  • or if you had work expenses over £2,500.

3. If HMRC tells you to submit one

  • if you received a P800 form
  • or if you received a notice to file a tax return.

4. If you need to qualify for benefits

  • if you need to prove you’re self-employed to claim Maternity Allowance or Tax-Free Childcare
  • or if you want to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance contributions and qualify for benefits.

5. Other situations

I’m a director of a limited company – do I still need to file a personal tax return?

Only if you paid yourself dividends over £10,000.

Otherwise, not anymore.

You still need to make sure that your company submits a corporate tax return, however.

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