Change of circumstances – Do you need to complete a Self Assessment tax return?

If someone has had a change in circumstances, then they might need to complete their first ever Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding people. 

Taxpayers can use the quick and their easy free online checking tool and register with HMRC by 5th October 2023 if they do need to self-assess.

Taxpayers can also use it if they think they may not need to complete one this year too.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services:

“It is important that taxpayers check if they need to complete a Self Assessment tax return so they can pay the right amount of tax owed and avoid penalties for not filing a return. It is quick and easy to check by using the interactive tool on GOV.UK – there is no need to ring us.”

Why complete a 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 Benefit 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

What if I don’t need to this year but have before?

The online checking tool can also be used by those who may no longer need to do Self Assessment, including if they:

  • gave up work or retired 
  • are no longer self-employed 
  • earn below the minimum income thresholds

If taxpayers no longer think they need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, they should tell HMRC before the deadline on 31st January 2024 to avoid penalties.


Taxpayers can register for Self Assessment. Once registered, they will receive their Unique Taxpayer Reference, which they will need when completing their tax return.

HMRC has also a wide range of resources to help taxpayers file a tax return including a series of video tutorials on YouTube and a new step by step guide. for anyone that is filing for the first time.

Avoid scams

Taxpayers need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams and should never share their HMRC login details with anyone, including a tax agent, if they have one. HMRC scams advice is available on GOV.UK.

Useful links

  1. You can register for Self Assessment
  2. You can request to be removed from Self Assessment
  3. You do not need to wait until 31st January 2024 before filing the tax return, help and support is available to help complete your return. You can submit at any time but do not have to pay until the deadline.
  4. Filing earlier allows you to find out what you owe sooner and prepare to budget your payment (if any due). Also, if a refund is due to you, you will receive it quickly.

PAYadvice.UK 18/8/2023

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