What is the UK Self-assessment and how do I know if it applies to me?
Self-assessment is used by the UK tax authority (HMRC) to collect tax from individuals. You only need to submit a self-assessment tax return if you meet certain criteria, such as if you earn any income from non-UK sources or if you work for yourself.
In most cases, people who are taxed on their income at source don't need to submit a tax return. Tax in these cases has already been paid to HMRC and you receive the amount net of tax (e.g. your salary being taxed via PAYE).
Wise can't provide tax advice and we recommend that you seek advice from a tax adviser.
What are the deadlines to submit a self-assessment tax return?
The UK tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April of the following year. For example, the tax year running from 6 April 2021 to 5 April 2022 would be the 2021-22 tax year. The filing deadline for self-assessment tax returns is 31 January following the end of the tax year. For example, the filing deadline for 2021-22 tax returns is 31 January 2023.
How do I register to file a self-assessment tax return?
You'll need to complete HMRC’s form SA1 and return this to HMRC. Once HMRC checks the form, you'll get a self-assessment record and a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. You'll need to include this on your tax return.
Note: there's a different registration process if you are self-employed.
What happens if I don't file my tax return by the deadline?
HMRC might issue a penalty to you. There's an automatic 100 GBP penalty if you don't file your tax return by 31 January. You might need to pay additional penalties until you submit the tax return. HMRC also charges interest on late paid tax.
What should I do if I no longer meet the criteria for filing a UK tax return?
Once you register for self-assessment, HMRC will expect you to file a tax return each year. If you no longer meet the criteria for self-assessment, you should de-register. If you don't do this, you may have to pay a penalty to HMRC for any tax returns you've not submitted