Nearly all business owners have to file a Self-Assessment tax return, or tax return for short, every year.
If you’re a director or other employee of a limited company, your tax return will show your salary and any dividends from the company. Your tax return will also show any other income you may have such as bank interest. It will also show any tax reliefs you’re entitled to, for example if you’ve donated money to a charity under the Gift Aid scheme.
Your tax return must be filed with HMRC by 31st January after the end of the tax year, so long as you file it online. If you file late, you’ll be fined at least £100 – further information is available on HMRC’s deadlines and penalties page.
If you’re a limited company contractor, your accountant will typically do this on your behalf. Otherwise, read this HMRC guide on how to register.
Once registered, you will receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which you’ll need to keep in a safe place.
You should receive a notice to complete a tax return each year – typically in April or May. Of course, you’re responsible for completing a return each year regardless, so don’t assume if you don’t receive a letter from HMRC that you’ve been let off the hook!