Tax Returns

Do you need to complete a tax return?

If you have relatively straightforward tax affairs and already pay tax through PAYE (Pay As You Earn) you probably won’t need to complete a tax return. But if you have more complicated tax affairs – or income from several sources – you may need to complete one.

Who needs to complete a tax return?

The most common reasons for needing to fill in a tax return are listed below. If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) asks you to complete a tax return for any other reason (this will normally be to make sure that you’re paying the right tax and getting the right allowances) you must always do so.

You’re self-employed

If you’re self-employed (including being a member of a partnership) you always have to complete a return.

Work out if you’re employed or self-employed.

Company directors, ministers, Lloyd’s names or members

You must complete a return if you’re any of the following:

  • a company director (unless you’re a director of a non-profit organisation, for example a charity, and don’t receive any payments or benefits)
  • a minister of religion (any faith)
  • Income above a certain level from savings, investment or property
  • £10,000 or more income from savings and investments
  • £2,500 or more income from untaxed savings and investments
  • £10,000 or more income from property (before deducting allowable expenses)
  • £2,500 or more income from property (after deducting allowable expenses)
  • income from the estate of a deceased person on which tax is still due
  • You are 65 and receive a reduced age-related allowance
  • If you receive a reduced age-related allowance because you are 65 but your income is over a certain level (£24,000 for the 2011-12 tax year, and £25,400 for the 2012-13 tax year), you’ll need to complete a tax return.

Income from overseas

You must complete a tax return if you have any foreign income that’s liable to UK tax.

Tax on foreign savings and investment income

Your annual income is £100,000 or more

If you receive total income of £100,000 or more you’ll need to complete a tax return. You may have higher or additional rate tax to pay that hasn’t been collected through your tax code.

You need to claim certain expenses or reliefs

If you are employed and want to claim for expenses or professional subscriptions of £2,500 or more, you’ll need to complete a tax return.

Some less common reliefs, such as Enterprise Investment Scheme relief or relief on Venture Capital Trusts, can only be claimed by completing a tax return.

You have Capital Gains Tax to pay

If you have Capital Gains Tax to pay, for example you have sold, given away or otherwise disposed of an asset such as a holiday home or shares, you’ll need to complete a tax return and the Capital Gains Tax pages.

You’ll need a tax return if:

  • You have lived or worked abroad or aren’t domiciled in the UK
  • You may need to complete a tax return if you are:
  • not resident
  • not ordinarily resident
  • not domiciled in the UK and claim the ‘remittance basis’
  • dual resident of the UK and another country
  • Residency is a complex issue.
  • You are a trustee

You’ll need a tax return if you are a:

  • trustee or personal representative (including someone who manages the tax affairs of a deceased person)
  • trustee of certain pension schemes

HMRC will decide if you need a tax return. If you pay tax through PAYE, HMRC may be able to collect the tax due through your tax code instead.