HMRC Self Assessment registration: Why sooner is better

HMRC Self Assessment registration: Why sooner is better

HMRC explains why now is the time for construction professionals to check whether they need to submit a Self Assessment tax return.

The year is flying by and time is gradually running out for you to check if you need to submit a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year.

If you need to register for the first time, you only have until 5 October 2023 to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Is there a way I can check whether I need to submit a Self Assessment tax return or not? 

There are various reasons which can affect whether or not you need to complete Self Assessment, so it’s understandable that you may not be completely sure.

Fortunately, HMRC has lots of help available. You can use the free online tool on GOV.UK, which is quick and easy to use, to check if you need to complete a tax return for the 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 tax year. 

I’ve never submitted a Self Assessment before. Why would I need to now?

There are many reasons why you might find that you need to complete a tax return for the first time. Some may be obvious: 

  • Starting work for yourself, so being newly self-employed, and earning over £1,000  
  • Having multiple sources of income  
  • Receiving untaxed income, for example, in this digital age, creating online content and earning money from it   
  • Receiving income from a property that you own or rent out   

Others may seem a little less obvious:  

  • Becoming a new partner in a business partnership  
  • Claiming Child Benefit when you, or your partner, earn more than £50,000 a year 
  • If you earn more than £100,000 a year 
  • If you receive interest from banks and building societies (more than £10,000)  
  • If you receive dividends in excess of £10,000 
  • If you need to pay Capital Gains Tax   
  • Or, if you are self-employed and earning less than £1,000 but you still want to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) voluntarily to protect your entitlement to a State Pension and certain benefits  

Your circumstances may have changed in a variety of ways since the last tax year, and it’s important to take a moment to consider if any of these might mean you have to complete Self Assessment. You can use the free online tool on GOV.UK to check if you need to do one. 

Remember, even if you are paying taxes through PAYE in an employed role, you may still need to submit a tax return.   

I’ve submitted a Self Assessment for years. Why would I not need to this year? 

Your circumstances may have changed so you may no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. This could be because:   

  •                  You’ve given up work or retired  
  •                  You’re no longer self-employed 
  •                  You earn below the minimum income thresholds (dependent on the relevant tax)   

If you have previously completed a tax return but no longer think you need to, it is important to let HMRC know  before the 31 January Self Assessment deadline, as otherwise they will be expecting you to send your figures in and you could face a penalty. 

I know what I need to do, what next? 

Visit GOV.UK to register for Self Assessment or request to remove yourself from Self Assessment.   

There is a new customised step by step guide for customers that are filing for the first time. 

If you’re already registered for Self Assessment, you don’t need to register again and can use your existing Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) to complete your tax return.  

Your UTR will be on any letters sent by HMRC and you can also find it via the HMRC app.  

If you’re completing Self Assessment this year, whether it’s for the first time or you’ve been doing it for years, you may want to consider filing your tax return early.  

Many customers leave it until the last minute and file on or around the 31 January each year. Did you know more than 860,000 customers filed their 2021 to 2022 tax returns on 31 January 2023?  

You can file any time after 6 April. If you file earlier, you aren’t required to pay earlier, but you do benefit from finding out exactly what you owe and getting some time and space to budget and manage your tax bill to suit your finances.  

Whatever action you take regarding your Self Assessment status, stay aware of scammers. Scammers use HMRC’s calendar to contact potential victims with messages timed to be most effective. They know the key Self Assessment dates and will contact you when you’d expect HMRC to be in touch, hoping that busy people will be easily taken in and click on a link or contact them so they can steal your details or your money.  

And remember, never share your HMRC login details with anyone, including a tax agent, if you use one. HMRC provides a lot more advice on scams and what to watch out for, visit the phishing and scams page on GOV.UK 

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