How to register for self-assessment tax returns

self-assessment tax returns

Similar to ecological seasons of every year, there is a tax season for every financial year that involves tax self-assessment, registering for assessment and paying taxes.  Paying taxes to the government is the primary responsibility of every British citizen. The process of registering and filing self-assessment tax returns can look daunting to the new taxpayers considering the rumble made by the already taxpaying citizens. Rather it’s a simple process which is explained below.

What is self-assessment of the tax return? Why is it necessary?

Self-assessment of tax returns is a way or a system through which the government works out the tax amount to be paid by the citizens. Usually, the taxes are deducted from wages, pensions, and savings. But people with other incomes and businesses need to file a self-assessment of the tax return to pay taxes to the HMRC. One can check if they need to send a tax return using this online tool.

What is HMRC and HMRC self-assessment?

HMRC or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is the department that collects taxes from the citizens. There are two ways to do an HMRC self-assessment tax return which are

  • By filing self-assessment tax return online
  • By downloading and filling the paper form

A detailed peek into these two methods are explained below

Online submission

Self assessment tax returns are submitted online through the online service. Registration for filing tax return is required before filing the tax return. There are two scenarios to consider here

First time users

People sending returns for the first time can register their details through the below-mentioned link

After registering with the details, HMRC will send a 10 digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) with which the account for the Self Assessment online service can be set up. In case the person already has a UTR obtained through paper submission before, they can directly set up an account and file returns.

First-time users need to complete this UTR process at least 20 days prior to the deadline thereby permitting enough time to receive the UTR, create the account and file the returns.

Users with prior experience

If you have already sent a tax return online before, then the person has to register using form CWF1 again online in this link using the  UTR number (Unique Taxpayer Reference)

Self Assessment categories

Registering for self-assessment varies depending upon the categories (mentioned below) that a person falls in. People who are

  • Self-employed or a ‘sole trader’ and earning more than £ 1000 are supposed to register for self-assessment as mentioned above and also register for Class 2 National Insurance.
  • Not self-employed can register using the form SA1. Details about this registration are provided in the link below

  • A business partner or person in a partnership – People falling under this category must register for self assessment initially and then register the partnership using the form SA400. Partnership registration can either be done either through online service or through the mail.

Paper submission

The main paper form for filing a tax return is SA100. Based on necessity, one can fill supplementary pages to disclose the other types of incomes.  The full list of supplementary pages can be found in the below link

People wishing to send tax returns through paper forms can download the forms online and send through post to this address

  • Self Assessment
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • BX9 1AS
  • United Kingdom


On completing the Self Assessment registration and tax filing, the individual must pay the bill within the deadline to avoid attracting penalties.

People who require help in filing tax returns can find an accountant to get through the process. A simple Google search with the term ‘accountants near me’ will give a list of accountants who can provide complete guidance in registering of self assessment and filing of tax returns.

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