Understanding your income tax return

If you are self-employed, or are an employee with several sources of income that are usually taxable, you will have to complete an income tax return. You will also have to complete a tax return if:

  •  You are a company director (unless you work for a not-for-profit organisation)
  •  You receive rent from a property you own
  •  You are a minister of religion of any faith
  •  You are named or a member of Lloyd’s
  •  You have any other income that cannot be collected via PAYE
  •  You have any income you receive even if you are not resident in the UK
  •  You are a trustee or personal representative dealing with a deceased person’s estate

The income tax return form can be complicated to complete as it has many complementary pages that apply to different types of income that could be taxable. Your income tax return should be sent to you automatically in April of each year. If yours does not arrive, or you are completing one for the first time, you can request an return form and the relevant complementary pages from your local tax office.

It is important to note that it is your responsibility to handle your own income tax return. Even if you use the services of an accountant, you are still liable if your tax return contains any errors. You should also be aware that HM Revenue & Customs choose a random selection of income tax returns to investigate in more detail each year.

If you are investigated and are accused of including inaccurate information on your income tax return, the services of a tax solicitor are invaluable. They can assess your case and represent you when dealing with any tax officials.

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