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HMRC urges taxpayers to use online tool to avoid helpline delays

| Duncan & Toplis | 16 August 2023

HMRC have today, 15 August, urged taxpayers to turn to their online self-assessment tax return tool to avoid lengthy delays using their telephone helpline. The tool can be found here.

The tool seeks to answer a number of questions that taxpayers may have around self-assessment as follows: 

Do I need to complete a self-assessment tax return this year? 

There are a number of reasons why taxpayers would need to submit a self-assessment tax return, even if they are within their employers’ PAYE scheme. For example,  you may have had a change in circumstances, or are now earning income from an additional source. 

In what circumstances would you need to submit a self-assessment tax return? 

Taxpayers may need to complete a tax return if they: 

  • are newly self-employed and have earned more than £1,000 
  • have multiple sources of income 
  • have received any untaxed income, for example earning money for creating online content
  • earn more than £100,000 a year
  • earn income from property that they own and rent out
  • are a new partner in a business partnership
  • are claiming Child Benefits and they or their partner have an income above £50,000
  • receive interest from banks and building societies (more than £10,000)
  • receive dividends in excess of £10,000
  • need to pay Capital Gains Tax
  • are self-employed and earn less than £1,000 but wish to pay Class 2 NICs voluntarily to protect their entitlement to State Pension and certain benefits 

When do I need to file my self-assessment tax return? 

You can file your tax return for the previous financial year at any time, you don’t need to wait until 31 January to do so, although those who are completing self-assessment for the first time need to register with HMRC no later than 5 October 2023 to file for 2022/2023. 

What should you do if you think you no longer need to complete a self-assessment tax return?

The self-assessment tax return tool can also be used to check this.  If you find that you no longer need to file a self-assessment tax return you should tell HMRC before the 31 January deadline to avoid a potential penalty.  

Examples of why you would no longer need to complete a self-assessment tax return 


  • Gave up work or retired 
  • Are no longer self-employed 
  • Earn below the minimum income thresholds 

How do I register for self-assessment? 

If you think you need to complete a self-assessment tax return for the first time, taxpayers can register for self-assessment on GOV.UK, which will generate your Unique Taxpayer Reference, which will be needed when completing your tax return. 

If we can help you with any aspect of your self-assessment then you shouldn’t hesitate to contact our dedicated personal tax team. 


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