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Most people don’t need to register for Self Assessment unless they’re self-employed, but there are exceptions.

Who needs to submit a Self Assessment if they’re not self-employed?

HMRC need to know about any income you might earn to ensure you pay the right amount of tax. Not all earnings come from an employer or self-employed work though, so you might need to register for Self Assessment to tell HMRC about income from another source. This might be the case if you:

  • Receive any income from land or property which is in the UK
  • Receive taxable foreign income over £300
  • Sell shares, property, or other assets which are subject to Capital Gains Tax
  • Have an income which is more than £150,000 a year
  • Receive any taxable income which hasn’t been taxed, and it can’t be collected through your tax code
  • Need to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) because you receive Child Benefit and you or your partner have an individual income which is more than £60,000

How do I register for Self Assessment if I’m not self-employed?

The process of registering for Self Assessment depends on whether you’re self-employed or not. If you’re not self-employed, you can either complete and submit a SA1 form by post, or register online (which tends to be a lot faster).

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When should I register?

If you didn’t send a tax return last year, you’ll need to register for Self Assessment by 5th October following the end of the tax year that you need to submit a return for. Your first tax return will then be due by 31st January the following calendar year if you submit online. The deadline is 31st October the same year if you submit a paper return.

For example, if you need to submit a tax return for the 2023/24 tax year (6th April 2023 – 5th April 2024), then you must sign up for Self Assessment before 5th October 2024.

What happens after I register for Self Assessment?

HMRC will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If you’re a company director, this UTR number will be different to the one you received for your limited company – so don’t mix them up!

You will also receive reminders when your tax return is due. If your situation changes and you no longer need to submit, you should let HMRC know as soon as possible.

When you first sign up for HMRC’s online services (which you’ll use to complete your Self Assessment tax return) you’ll receive an activation code. This can take a few weeks to arrive, so be sure to register in plenty of time to submit your return.

Learn more about how our online accountants can help. Call 020 3355 4047, or get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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Martin Walby
Martin Walby
26th November 2012 5:44 pm

I note that in the “reasons why you may need a return” list it states “if you become a director of a company”. My understanding of the legislation is that it is not a mandatory requirement to inform HMRC when a person becomes a director of a company, providing of course none of the other items shown in the list are applicable. HMRC may however request that an SA1 is completed. In most circumstances, unless the person is a director of a company with whom he is not an employee, directors are paid through the payroll and subject to PAYE/NI… Read more »

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