What is included on a Self Assessment tax return?

Self Assessment is the way that HMRC requires a tax payer to report annual earnings and work out how much tax has to be paid. It's called Self Assessment as it is the tax payers responsibility to complete the form, calculate the tax and make the payment. It gets complicated quickly which is why most people ask their accountant to take care of it!

So we can prepare a Self Assessment tax return, we need details of what needs to be reported for the given tax year, 6th Apr to 5th Apr. Everyone's circumstances are different and Self Assessment covers a wide range of income, deductions and reliefs along with more complex tax affairs such as overseas income.

Below are some of the categories that Self Assessment covers. If you receive any of the items below, details will need to be included on your Self Assessment tax return.

Salary from employment

If you are employed and are paid a salary, your employer will deduct and pay your income tax and NI to HMRC for you. Your employer by law has to give you a P45 if you stop working for them during the tax year, or a P60 at the end of the tax year that details all your income and deductions. 

Pension income

Much like employment income, you'll receive a summary of your income with details of income tax deducted. 

Foreign income

Where income is received from territories outside of the UK there will be supporting information from the source of the income and possibly tax returns. 

Capital gains

A capital Gains Tax liability may arise when you dispose of an asset in a given tax year, this can include the sale or disposal of shares, property or a company. For more information, visit the HMRC website here.


If you've received dividends outside of your limited company that we support you with, we'll need details to include on your tax return. You don't need to include dividends paid within an ISA or SIPP.

Taxable benefits

If you receive benefits that are taxable, details will need to be reported on Self Assessment. Examples include Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). For a full list of taxable (and non taxable) benefits, take a look at HMRC's list here.

Self employment income, including CIS

This is income that you would have received through running your own personal business (not through your limited company) which has not been paid through PAYE i.e recorded on a payslip.

Trusts and estates

The trusts and estate part of Self Assessment requires details of income. 

Savings interest

If you received interest payments (except those paid into your limited company bank account or into cash ISAs), there maybe tax due that needs to be calculated on your Self Assessment.

Child benefits

You may have to pay a tax charge, known as the "High Income Child Benefit Charge", if your total income exceeds £50,000 in the tax year and either you or your partner receive Child Benefit, or someone else gets Child Benefit for a child living with you and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep. Payments are tax-free as long an neither parent or carer earns more than £50,000 a year. If you or your partner earns over £50,000 a year, you can still claim Child Benefit, but you will need to pay some or all of this back to HMRC depending on the higher earner's income.

Student loan repayments

Student loan repayments are calculated against your overall income. The calculation differs depending on when your loan started. If you were an employee last tax year then you may have made some payments through PAYE. Any student loan repayments will be shown on your payslips and P60.

Charitable donations

Only donations that have been made with gift-aid from your personal account can be accounted for in your self-assessment. Payments made from your company are not included.

Personal pension contributions

Payments made to a personal pension from a personal bank account need to be included on a Self Assessment. This does not include payments made by a company or through your payslip (where full tax relief was received at source).

Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS)

To claim relief you need to provide details from your EIS and SEIS Certificates.

Please remember tax is complicated and this list is not exhaustive. There are many other tax matters that can be included in Self Assessment - if you are not sure about yours, please get in contact.

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