Self Assessment Tax returns
You might be surprised by the number of reasons you might have to submit a Self Assessment Tax return (SATR)
 
The rules apply to the tax year that runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the following year. You need to submit a SATR if, during the year, you: 
were self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000 after deducting your allowable expenses 
were a partner in a business partnership 
had taxable income of more than £100,000 
have more than £1,000 rental income after deducting your allowable expenses 
receive tips and commission 
have unearned income from savings, investments and dividends 
receive income from abroad. 
 
You can use the government’s online tool to find out if you should complete a SATR. 

Self Assessment Tax deadlines 

Online SATRs must be submitted by 31 January following the end of the tax year. You’ll also need to pay any tax due. If you haven’t submitted a SATR before you must register by 5 October following the end of the tax year. 
 
If you want to send in a paper tax SATR, HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) must receive it by 31 October following the end of the tax year. Generally, you won’t automatically receive a paper form from HMRC. If you’ve previously filed a paper tax return you’ll receive a short notice asking you to communicate with them digitally. However, HMRC will still send paper forms to people identified as being unable to file online. 
 

Self Assessment Tax return requirements 

Once you are registered with HMRC you must send your return on time. If you’re late you will have to pay a penalty. The longer the delay the greater the penalty. 
 
You’ll need to keep records such as bank statements and receipts for your expenses, for example. If HMRC checks your tax return they might ask for these documents. 
 
If you’re self-employed or in a partnership you must keep records for at least six years so, consider accountancy software. If you don’t have a business you must keep your records for 22 months from the end of the tax year. If your tax return is late or if you’re buying and selling assets you must keep your records longer. 
 
Your records can be stored in accounting software, digitally or on paper. Whatever you choose you must make sure they are accurate, complete and readable. If you don’t you could face a penalty. 
 
If your records are lost or destroyed you must do your best to replace them and tell HMRC what has happened. 
 

Changing your Self Assessment Tax return 

If changes are submitted in good time you can make amendments and allow HMRC to review them. You can send another SATR within 12 months of your submission. For earlier tax years you’ll have to contact HMRC. If you have paid too little tax you might have to pay interest on the overdue amount. If you’ve paid too much tax you can claim a refund
 
When you contact HMRC you must confirm: 
the tax year you’re correcting 
why you think you’ve paid too much or too little 
how much the difference should be 
your signature: no one else can sign on your behalf. 
 
Please get in touch if you would like some help or advice concerning your Self Assessment Tax position. 
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