HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is reminding taxpayers that the clock is counting down to the deadline for submitting their online Self-Assessment Tax Return.
There are now less than 100 days until 31 January 2024, by which time you must have filed your return and settled any corresponding tax liability.
Why might I need to submit a tax return?
Your employment circumstances, and the income that you have received in the tax year (6 April 2022, to 5 April 2023), will dictate whether or not you are required to submit a tax return.
HMRC detail who must send a tax return here, but you might want to consider if you have:
- Earnings from renting out property that exceed £1,000
- Made gains from the disposal of cryptoassets
- A second income from trading online, or working as an influencer, for example
- Become newly self-employed
- Received Child Benefit and are earning over £50,000
If you are still unsure, you can use HMRC’s online tool to check if you need to submit a return.
Alternatively, speak to an accountant; we can talk you through your obligations and support you with tax compliance and planning.
Income from a ‘side hustle’
HMRC have significant resources that help it to identify tax discrepancies, and individuals who are not paying the correct amount of tax.
From 1 January 2024, those who are earning ‘secondary’ incomes may find themselves in the spotlight as platforms such as Airbnb, Etsy and Fiverr will be required to share user details with HMRC.
There will be a team of individuals dedicated to spotting discrepancies between the information provided by various digital platforms and tax returns that have been submitted.
Where it deems that it is appropriate to do so, tax investigations may be launched by HMRC.
Each individual can claim £1,000 each tax year, via the Trading Allowance, meaning they can earn up to this amount, before deducting expenses, from self-employment in each tax year without paying tax.
Earnings exceeding this allowance will need to be reported via a Self-Assessment Tax Return, and the Income Tax and National Insurance that you owe must be paid.
Benefits of filing early
Filing your Self-Assessment Tax Return early isn’t only great for your own peace of mind, but it can be really beneficial for planning.
You’ll know what you owe sooner, and so you can budget better and factor your liability in alongside other financial commitments.
On the other hand, if you are due a refund you can often get your hands on this a bit quicker if you file early.
Be wary of Self-Assessment scams
As is often typical at this time of year, scammers attempt to take advantage of those preparing to file their tax returns and settle their liabilities.
We would urge you to be aware of Self-Assessment scams, for example those threatening arrest, or offering you a large rebate, and of any communication (text, email or phone call) that raises your suspicions.
Taxpayers can report any suspicious communications to HMRC in the following ways:
- forward suspicious texts claiming to be from HMRC to 60599
- forward emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- report tax scam phone calls to HMRC on GOV.UK.
If you are unsure about a communication you have received that relates to your tax affairs, you can also speak to your accountant in the first instance. We can confirm your tax position, and help you identify a scam from legitimate correspondence.
How can George Hay help?
If you need support with your 2022/23 Self-Assessment tax return, or if you are unsure about whether you need to submit a tax return for 2022/23, contact us today.