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Kirk Rice Blog

Self Assessment Tax ReturnsWritten on January 13, 2020 by Kirk Rice LLP

Self Assessment Tax Returns
Taxing Times Questions

The Question:

I am aware that tax returns are due at the end of January, but I am not sure if I should be completing one?

Kirk Rice LLP answers:

Self assessment tax returns have to be completed if a taxpayer has additional income outside of regular PAYE income taxed at source and last year nearly 10m taxpayers completed their returns online. Tax is automatically deducted from the majority of UK taxpayers’ wages, pensions or savings.

As you say the deadline for online tax returns and paying any tax owed is 31 January 2020 (it is now too late to submit a tax return on paper). If the deadline is missed, HMRC issues fines of a minimum £100 for late submissions even if no tax is owed.

For first time users of self assessment online, you need to register initially to use the online service. It can take a few days for the registration to arrive in the post, so it is important to register early.

A tax return must be filed if, in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April), you were:

self-employed as a sole trader and earned more than £1,000; or
a partner in a business partnership.

In addition, self assessment is required if money is earned from any of the following sources:

  • money from renting out a property;
  • tips and commission;
  • income from savings, investments and dividends; and
  • foreign income.

Also, if you have sold any assets such as a property you may have capital gains tax to pay and this will also need to be reported on the tax return.

HMRC is also reminding people who are liable for the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) that they may need to file a tax return before the deadline. Those with income over £50,000 who receive child benefit, or whose partner gets it, are liable for the charge.

Taxpayers can check their annual income via their P60 or online digital tax account – known as a personal tax account – on the HMRC website, and use HMRC’s child benefit tax calculator. Note also that pension contributions are exempt from total salary when calculating HICBC.

Taxpayers can also be due refunds of tax in situations where pension contributions have been made or donations have been made under gift aid. Consideration should also be given to situations where losses have arisen from say self-employment or the sale of an asset as there may be an opportunity to offset these against other income or gains that could trigger a tax refund.

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Any reader interested in discussing self assessment tax returns with one of our tax specialists can telephone 01344 875 000 or email info@kirkrice.co.uk.

Please note: answers are given for general guidance only and specific advice should be taken before acting on any of the suggestions made. Tax treatment is based on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases or, and reliefs from taxation, are subject to change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax planning.