Self Assessment – also known as a tax return – is the system run by HM Revenue & Customs in order to administer taxation for those who generally fall outside of typical British working circumstances.
The process has consistently been labelled as one of the most stressful government procedures currently in place – and in addition to the extra tax it brings, it is responsible for millions in revenue from late charges.
Generally, if all of your earning are declared through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, you will not be required to fill out Self Assessment forms. However, there are a number of different circumstances which make filing a tax return a necessity: notably anyone who is classed as self-employed, a company director, a trustee or is receiving income from overseas will automatically be required to go through the process.
The calendar for Self Assessment are run on the same guidelines as that of the tax year, with each annual period beginning on April 6. Typically the window for filing a return for the previous period runs for around 7 months from the close of the previous tax year – however, those looking to submit their Self Assessment online are given an extra 3 months by HMRC in which to do so.
For those who do not file a tax return on time, there are a number of fines in place – the sliding scale begins with a flat £100 charge that is imposed for anyone a day late with their Self Assessment, and this can potential rise to thousands depending on when the forms are finally received by HMRC.