Self-Assessment is the process of declaring your income for tax

Self Assessment is the system HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses to collect Income Tax. Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. People and businesses with other income must report it in a tax return. If you need to send one, you fill it in after the end of the tax year (5 April) it applies to.

Too busy? Here’s Self assessment in 30 seconds.

  • Anyone earning outside of employment must complete as assessment
  • You can submit online or on paper
  • Returns must be complete by January 31st
  • You need to submit figures for you income and out-goings
  • HMRC will calculate your tax bill / rebate
  • You can be fined for late or inaccurate submissions


Send your tax return by the deadline (31 January if you file online).

If you didn’t send an online return last year, allow extra time (up to 20 working days) as you’ll need to register first.

Filling in your return

You need to keep records (e.g. bank statements or receipts) so you can fill in your tax return correctly.

You can get help, e.g. from HMRC or by getting an accountant to do your return for you.

Paying your bill

HMRC will calculate what you owe based on what you report.

Pay your Self Assessment bill by 31 January (or 30 December if you want HMRC to collect tax automatically from your wages or pension).

Sending a return

Once you’ve registered, you can send your tax return using HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) free Self Assessment online service.

You can get help with filling in your return, e.g. from HMRC or by getting an accountant to do your return for you.

You then have to pay your bill by the deadline.

Using software or paper forms

You can choose to send any Self Assessment return using software or paper forms.

You must use one of these options to send returns:

  • for a partnership
  • for a trust and estate
  • if you get income from a trust or you lived abroad as a non-resident, or if you’re a Lloyd’s underwriter or religious minister

You must use a paper form if you need to send a:

The deadline for paper forms is 31 October (or 31 January if you’re a trustee of a registered pension scheme or a non-resident company).

Still have questions? Ready to deal with your assessment?

We'll answer any questions you have, or even better, we can do your self-assessment for you so you know it's accurate, properly recorded and done on time.

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