Do I need to complete a tax return?
This page looks at whether or not you need to complete a tax return if you are employed – in other words your employer deducts tax and National Insurance contributions from your pay using PAYE.
Most employees working in the UK pay all their tax through their company’s payroll system and are not required to submit a tax return. You may, however, need to complete a tax return because your tax affairs are complicated in some way, for example by having a source of untaxed income.
You can find more information on Self Assessment and tax returns in our tax essentials section.
Self Assessment is not a tax – it is a way of paying tax
The idea of Self Assessment is that you are responsible for completing a tax return each year if you need to, and for paying any tax due for that tax year. It is your responsibility to tell HMRC if you think you need to complete a tax return.
If you complete a Self Assessment tax return, you include all your taxable income, and any capital gains. You also claim any tax allowances or reliefs that you are entitled to on the tax return.
Most people in the UK pay all their tax ‘at source’, for example, through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) if they are employed, and are not required to file a tax return. So Self Assessment does not affect everyone and you will normally only need to complete a form if your tax affairs are complicated in some way, or if you have untaxed income that cannot be taxed through your PAYE tax code.
There is more information on who needs to complete a tax return in the tax essentials section.
We explain what to do if you think you no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return in the tax essentials section.
If you are no longer within Self Assessment, but think you are due a tax refund, you may need to claim a repayment of tax each year. If you think this applies to you, take a look at the How do I claim back tax? page.
We explain the deadline by which you need to notify HMRC if you think you need to complete a tax return and you are not already within Self Assessment in the tax essentials section.
We also explain the deadlines for submission of tax returns and the special rules that apply according to the date when HMRC issue you with a tax return.
We explain what a short tax return is and help you work out whether or not you might be able to request one instead of the full Self Assessment tax return in the tax essentials section.
There is more information on who needs to complete a Self Assessment tax return on the GOV.UK website.