We are now a month and a half into a new tax year. If you have completed a tax return in previous years, then you are likely to have already received a notice from HMRC to file a return for the year ended 5 April 2019.

Should you be registered for self-assessment?
But even if you didn’t file a return in earlier years, it is possible you will need to do so now. In order to be able to file a return, you will first need to register for self-assessment with HMRC. You will need to file a tax return for the year ended 5 April 2019 if, during that year, you met one of the following criteria:

• You worked for yourself as a sole trader and earned more than £1,000 from doing so. This £1,000 trading allowance was introduced with last year’s returns to save having those with tiny self-employments having to complete a return.

• You are a partner in a trading partnership.

• You had income above £50,000 and you claimed Child Benefit. This will also apply if your partner claimed Child Benefit and you have income over £50,000 and are the higher earner. Child Benefit is reclaimed through the tax return for those on higher incomes.

• You had income over £100,000. Above this limit, the personal allowance starts to be withdrawn (£1 is taken for every £2 over the limit). A tax return is required to correctly calculate the revised tax due from this.

• You had income from rental of property or land in excess of £2,500 after allowable expenses or more than £10,000 before expenses. Rental income is still taxable income, but smaller amounts can sometimes be dealt with outside the tax return system.

• You had income from dividends or savings and investments. Receiving amounts above £10,000 automatically requires a tax return, but it is likely a return will be required for smaller amounts if you have other income.

• You sold a valuable asset. When you sell an asset, the income from that is potentially subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) depending on how much the sales price exceeded the original purchase price. Such sales need to be reported on a return to see if any CGT is due. Sales of your home are exempt from this.

• You hold one of the following positions. All of these positions have specific tax rules, and specific tax return pages, associated with them.

• Religious minister
• Lloyd’s underwriter
• Examiner, exam moderator or invigilator
• Share fisherman.

• You have other potentially taxable income, such as money from a trust, non-UK income above £300, more then £2,500 in tips or charges arising from pension investments.

HMRC will also usually want returns from company directors. Whilst this is not strictly speaking required by law, most directors of their own companies will have income that requires them to complete a return in any case.

How to register for self-assessment
If you have filed returns in the past, but ceased having to do so, then the Unique Tax Reference (UTR) you used then will still be valid now. If that is the case, you will not need to re-register, but can simply send a new return using that number.

If you are registering as self-employed, either on your own or in a partnership, you will need to complete form CWF1. This can be completed via a Government Gateway account, or through a printed form. Both options can be found on the HMRC website. (tinyurl.com/CWF1forms)

To complete form CWF1 you will need the following information to hand:
• Full name
• Previous name (if changed) and the date of change
• National Insurance Number
• Date of birth
• Full residential address and the date you moved there
• Your business address if you do not operate your business from home.
• Contact telephone number and e-mail address
• The date when you either started in self-employment, or when you exceeded the £1,000 trading allowance.
• The trading name of the business if different from your own name.
• The nature of your business.

Otherwise you will need to fill out form SA1. This can either be completed for submission online or printed out to be sent by post. Both versions of this form can be found on the HMRC website. (tinyurl.com/SA1forms)

To complete form SA1, you will need the following information to hand.
• Full name
• Previous name (if changed) and the date of change
• National Insurance Number
• Date of birth
• Full residential address and the date you moved there
• Contact telephone number and e-mail address
• The date when your requirement to complete a return came into force (e.g. when you started receiving rental income)

Once submitted, you should receive a letter from HMRC within 10 working days. This will confirm your registration for self-assessment and provide you with the 10-digit UTR you need for submitting tax returns.


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