Time is running out for taxpayers to register for self-assessment tax returns for 2017-18. Anyone submitting a self-assessment return for the first time needs to register by 5 October so that they can complete their return by 31 January 2019.
People need to complete a tax return for 2017-18 if they:
- Earned more than £2,500 from renting out property
- Their partner received Child Benefit and either of them had an annual income of more than £50,000
- Received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
- Are self-employed sole traders
- Are limited company directors
- Are shareholders
- Are employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500
- Have an annual income over £100,000
Lucy Brennan, a partner at Saffery Champness, comments on who might need to register to complete a tax return and the penalties that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has at its disposal:
“With the deadline to register for self-assessment fast approaching we may see a wave of people rushing to get their affairs in order – particularly if their circumstances have recently changed and they now need to complete tax returns for the first time. It can come as a shock to some to realise they are liable for self-assessment, particularly among the self-employed or certain recipients of Child Benefit.
“Whilst there is not a fine for failing to register, people may be in for a nasty surprise if they mistakenly mislead HMRC, which could result in a fine or a hefty tax bill come the end of the year.
“With almost 750,000 people missing the self-assessment tax return deadline last year, it is clear that a significant number of people need more guidance to help them understand the intricacies of the self-assessment process. Registering on time is only the beginning and individuals unsure of how to proceed should seek advice and get information up-to-date as far in advance as possible, submitting their returns on time to give full peace of mind.”