It should seem obvious whether an individual must submit a self-assessment tax return annually. Yet, each year, thousands of people find themselves brought into the regime unwittingly.

To help taxpayers prepare their affairs accordingly, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is offering a free online tool to help people find out whether they need to submit a return.

Typically, an individual must submit a tax return if, in the last tax year, they were self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000, or a partner in a business partnership.

Most taxpayers will not need to send a return if their only income is from their wages or pensions, which are recorded by employers via PAYE.

However, some individuals may need to submit one if they have any other untaxed income, such as:

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

Taxpayers should be aware that if they use the tool their details will not be sent to HMRC. If you are unsure whether you need to submit a tax return, please click here to use the tool.

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