Do directors need to file a self assessment tax return?

By: Caroline Waters

Date: 10 January 2019

Do directors need to file a self assessment tax return?It has been a contentious issue for many years that HMRC have insisted that all company directors file a tax return. Arguably this was inconsistent with tax law and it has been successfully challenged in recent tribunal cases.

Do you need to send a tax return?

The criteria for company directors are the same as for any employed individual. If your only income is already taxed at source, such as PAYE, or you only have small amounts of savings interest or dividends below £2,500, you may not need to file a return.

You can quickly check the full criteria on the updated HMRC self assesssment tool. However, beware the first question which asks "did you work for yourself…?". Always reply "yes" if you are a director even if you are not the majority shareholder. The remaining questions are more straightforward and will give you a decision on whether you need to file a tax return.

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Has HMRC issued you with a notice to send a tax return?

If you think you don’t need to send a return, you must contact HMRC to ask them to withdraw the notice. Otherwise it will still be mandatory, and you will incur penalties for non filing - even if you do not owe any additional tax.

Contact HMRC online if you already have a personal tax gateway account. Alternatively contact them by phone on 0300 200 3310 or by post: Self Assessment, HM Revenue and Customs,, BX9 1AS. Make sure you have your NI number and Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) details to hand.

How to file a tax return

You can register for self assessment online which may take up to 10 days to set up an account before you can begin to fill in your return. The income tax self assessment process is then the same as for any other individual.

If you are too close to the filing deadline of 31 January and you do not have an online account, your only option may be to use a Tax Agent if you want to avoid a late filing penalty.

Copyright 2019 Caroline Waters, Atom Content Marketing

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