Who needs to file a tax return?
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
- if you’re self-employed and earned more than £1,000
- if you have rental income over £2,500
- if you made over £12,000 in profit from investments – usually property or stocks; gains from shares in an ISA don’t count
- if you received more than £10,000 from savings interest – also not from savings within a cash ISA
- if you received more than £10,000 from dividends – also not from a stocks & shares ISA
- if you have foreign income
- or if you have any other sort of untaxed income bigger than £2,500.
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
- if your income is over £100,000 – doesn’t matter if you already paid tax via PAYE
- if you live abroad and had income from the UK
- if you claimed Child Benefit and your or your partner’s income was over £50,000
- if you’re in a partnership
- if you are a minister of any religion
- if you are a trustee
- if you’re a “name” at the Lloyd’s of London.
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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