Self-Assessment tax returns: registration deadline, who needs to register for 2016/17 and how to do it


Updated on 05 October 2017

The 2016/2017 self-assessment tax return registration deadline has arrived. Find out if you need to act today to avoid a £100 fine.

Self-Assessment 2016/17 registration deadline

Today (5 October) is the last day to register to apply to submit a Self-Assessment tax return for the 2016/17 tax year.

The return – which will need to either be filed by 31 October, 2017 (paper) or 31 January, 2018 (online) – tells HMRC about the income you received between 6 April 2016 and 5 April, 2017 so it can calculate how much extra tax you will need to pay.

If you miss the registration deadline for Self-Assessment you’ll usually be fined £100.

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Who needs to register for Self-Assessment for 2016/17?

Not every needs to register for Self-Assessment. However, it can be difficult to tell whether you need to or not.

Typically, you’ll need to register for Self-Assessment for 2016/17 if:

  • you were self-employed;
  • you received £2,500 or more in untaxed income, for example from tips or renting out a property;
  • your income from savings or investments was £10,000 or more before tax;
  • your income from dividends from shares was £10,000 or more before tax;
  • you made profits from selling things like shares, a second home or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax;
  • you were a company director - unless it was for a non-profit organisation (such as a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car;
  • your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit;
  • you had income from abroad that you needed to pay tax on;
  • you lived abroad and had a UK income;
  • your taxable income was over £100,000;
  • you were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme;
  • you had a P800 from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year – and you didn’t pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment;
  • your State Pension was more than your Personal Allowance and was your only source of income (unless you started getting your pension on or after 6 April, 2016).

This isn’t a definitive list though, so if you have a feeling you may have to file a return you should double check.

You can use the Government’s check if you need a tax return tool to make sure.

Other reasons to register for Self-Assessment

If you’ve been told by HMRC to send a return you must register and send it – even if you don’t have any tax to pay.

You may also want to register and fill in a tax return to claim money back from HMRC for things like donations to charity, private pension contributions as a higher or additional rate taxpayer and work expenses over £2,500.

How to register for Self-Assessment

There are different ways to register depending on whether you are categorised as self-employed or a sole trader, not-self-employed or being a partner or in a partnership.

Self-employer or sole trader

If you fall into the self-employed or sole trader group you need to register for Self-Assessment and Class 2 National Insurance as soon as you can after starting your business.

You should do it by 5 October in your business’s second tax year or you could be fined.

If you’ve sent a return before, you’ll need to register online with form CWF1 and use your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

If you’ve never sent a return before, register online to get issued with a UTR. You’ll get a letter within 10 working days with an activation code.

Alternatively, you can fill out the CWFI online form, print it off and sent it to HMRC.

Not self-employed

‘Not self-employed’ people include company directors, those that get income through property like buy-to-let landlords and those that have income over £50,000 but want to carry on receiving Child Benefit.

If you fall into the ‘not self-employed’ camp you will need to register using the SA1 form.

If you’ve sent a tax return in the past you can use the UTR you’ve been given before, if you can’t remember this you can find your UTR here.

If you haven’t sent a return before you can register with the SA1 form and you’ll get a letter within 10 working days which contains your UTR. You’ll need this to enrol for Self-Assessment.

You will get an activation code with 10 days of enrolling which will allow you to log into your online account.

Partner or partnership

You can register a partnership online or by post using the SA400 form.

For more information check out the Government website.

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