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Do I need to file a Self-Assessment Tax Return?

The idea of Self-Assessment is that you are responsible for completing a tax return each year if you need to, and for paying any tax due for that tax year. It is your responsibility to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if you think you need to complete a tax return. ... This process is called Self-Assessment.

So how do I know if I need to?

Firstly, if HMRC have told you to.  The onus however is on the individual.  If you fall into one or more of the categories below you need to firstly register on-line with HMRC to obtain your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number (UTR).

This notification to HMRC should have been done no later than 5 October following the end of the tax year in which the unpaid tax arises.

So, for example, for the 2020/21 tax year (which finished on 5 April 2021), the notification of a person’s chargeability to tax should have been made to HMRC by 5 October 2021. Any unpaid tax that is due for payment to HMRC must be paid by 31 January 2022. *

*At this moment in time, however COVID has meant that some of these timescales are moving.

Do I fall into one of the following categories?

  • The self-employed running their own business, including any Locum Doctors
  • Individuals who have income over £100,000.
  • Anyone with expenses claim over £2,500 in any one year
  • Directors of limited companies.
  • Most landlords owning rental property.
  • Individuals in receipt of investment income such as dividends.
  • Partners working in a partnership or LLP.
  • The higher earning partner whose income is above £50,000 and where they, or their partner, have claimed child benefit.
  • People with other sources of untaxed income.
  • People making chargeable capital disposals of property, shares or other assets.
  • Non-UK resident individuals who have sources of income or gains arising in the UK.
  • People wishing to reclaim higher rate or additional rate tax relief on their private pension contributions or charitable donations as well as relief for venture capital schemes.
  • UK residents with overseas sources of income or gains on which UK tax is due, or non-UK domiciled individuals wishing to claim the remittance basis of taxation.

What happens if I don’t file my return on time? 

At the present time* Tax returns that are filed after the filing deadline (for 2020/21 this is 31/1/22) but within 3 months of it, will incur an automatic £100 late filing penalty.

If the tax return is filed more than three months late a daily penalty of £10 per day can be levied for up to 90 days (taking daily penalties up to a maximum of £900). For tax returns left unfiled six months after the filing date, a percentage of the tax due is then levied at 5% or £300 (whichever is greater) with the option for HMRC to raise an assessment of the tax due.

Unpaid tax at 31 January following the end of the tax year in question will be subject to daily interest charges, and then a 5% penalty if it is 30 days late. A further 5% for unpaid tax six months following the deadline, and an additional further 5% penalty if any tax remains unpaid 12 months following the payment deadline.

Unless you can satisfy HMRC that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the filing or payment deadlines, the costs can be quite considerable indeed.

Early planning is, therefore, essential to ensure that you gather all your tax information together and provide it to your specialist medical accountant, if using one, as soon as possible after 5 April each year.

David Elliot

David Elliot

Medical Tax Director

The idea of Self-Assessment is that you are responsible for completing a tax return each year if you need to, and for paying any tax due for that tax year.

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