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UK Guide to Self Assessment

What is Self-Assessement?

Self Assessment is a way of working out and paying tax . It is not a new tax and does not affect the amount of tax you pay. Self Assessment returns are issued in April each year and cover the year from the previous 6 April to 5 April. For example, the 2005-06 tax year covers the period from 6 April 2005 to 5 April 2006. The form will be issued in April 2006.


Who has to file a Self-Assessment return?

Most people pay their tax through PAYE and do not need to complete Self Assessment Tax Returns .

The guidelines for who needs to complete tax returns have changed. The new guidelines apply for the 2004-2005 tax year onwards, they do not apply to tax returns issued for the 2003- 2004 tax year and earlier. If you have been sent a tax return for any year you will need to complete and return it, unless it has been issued in error.

The new guidelines mean the Inland Revenue will need a tax return from you each year if you:

* are self-employed or in partnership (they will also require partnership tax returns)

* are a company director

* are a Name or member of Lloyd's

* are a Minister of Religion (of any faith or denomination)

* have income from letting any property or land you own (but if you are an employee and this income is less than £2,500 a year a tax return may not be necessary)

* receive other untaxed income and the tax due on it cannot be collected through a PAYE tax code

* receive annually (or can be treated as receiving) income from a trust or settlement or any income from the estate of a deceased person and further tax is due on that income

* have taxable foreign income, even if you are claiming that you are not normally resident in the UK (and including non-resident landlords).

Additionally, if you are an employee or pensioner the Inland Revenue needs a tax return if you:

* have annual income from savings or investment income of £ 10,000 or more (before tax)

* have annual income of £100,000 or more

* have tax due at the end of the year that cannot be collected through your PAYE code for the following year

* have untaxed income of £2,500 or more annually (but some pensioners may be able to pay the tax on this through their PAYE tax code)

* have annual claims against tax for expenses or professional subscriptions of £2,500 or more

* are 65 and over and entitled to some age related personal or married couple's allowance, but not the full amount (unless you have very straightforward affairs).

We have more information on Self-Assessment on our Personal Tax Guide page.

How can I get help completing my Self-Assessment forms?

Kingston Smith are able to provide you with assistance in both your day-to-day tax affairs and long-term tax planning .

Their personal tax services include:

* Preparation of your tax return;

* Evaluation and calculation of your tax payable or refundable;

* Advice on ways to minimise your tax liability. This will include a review of the reliefs and benefits available to you, ensuring that these are maximised to keep your tax bill to a minimum;

* Corresponding with HMRC on your behalf; and

* Dealing with tax investigations on your behalf, which may include liaising and meeting directly with HMRC for you in cases of disputes.

Where your needs require specialist advice, you can draw on their tax and legal consultancy division, a combination of both lawyers and accountants. They are equipped to advise on a wide range of issues in both individual and corporation tax arenas. Services include long-term personal tax planning, inheritance tax planning, capital gains tax planning, international tax planning, corporate structures, joint ventures, acquisitions and disposals, share option schemes and VAT advice.


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