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HMRC’s New Self-Assessment Tool

HMRC has launched an online tool which allows you to check if you need to submit a tax return for 2017/18.

It’s easy to access, simple to use but very misleading.

What’s the full story?

Tax return required?

HMRC’s latest online tool, launched on 28 November 2018, aims to help individuals decide if they need to complete a self-assessment tax return for 2017/18. As the normal submission deadline is 31 January 2019, it seems like a sensible idea. The trouble is if you follow its guidance you can easily land yourself in hot water with HMRC, plus receive a £100 fine.

Notice to file. At no point does the tool tell you that if you have already received a notice to complete a tax return you must do so even if the tool indicates that it’s not necessary. HMRC’s notice will usually have been sent to you in April 2018 via your online personal tax account or in the post. Check your records and if you’ve received a notice you’ll need to complete and submit your self-assessment return online by no later than 31 January or you’ll be fined.

Note. If HMRC sent you a notice to complete a tax return for 2017/18 after 31 October, the deadline for submitting it (on paper or online) is three months from the day after the notice was issued.

Misleading. If you haven’t received a notice to submit a self-assessment tax return for 2017/18, but think you owe tax and haven’t told HMRC about it, its tool might indicate that you don’t need to submit a self-assessment return. This is because it uses broad criteria to make its decision. It’s possible to owe thousands in tax and for the tool to say you don’t need to do anything. This is dangerous advice and should be ignored.

Tip. If you owe tax for 2017/18 and are unsure whether to submit a self-assessment tax return, read our short guide on what steps to take.

If you think that you owe tax but aren’t sure contact us today

call 01237 472071 or email [email protected]  without delay as we are only 3 weeks away from deadline.



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