What is a tax return?

Definition of tax return

A tax return is a document that is submitted in paper or online to HMRC every year showing details of income and certain costs. From these figures the tax return shows a calculation of how much tax is due.

A tax return might either be for an individual (in which case it might also be called a personal tax return, an income tax return or a Self Assessment tax return) or it might be for an organisation, such as a partnership (partnership tax return) or a company (Corporation Tax return).

All personal tax returns have a main section which contains common types of income such as bank interest or dividends received, and common tax reliefs such as donations to charities. Other types of income, such as profits from self-employment or salary from a job, are reported on separate sections.

Not all income has to go on a personal tax return, for example if you have money in an ISA you do not need to include interest earned on that money, because ISA interest is tax-free.

Submitting your tax return online

FreeAgent enables you to submit your VAT return and Self Assessment tax return online directly to HMRC.

Got questions? Ask Emily!

FreeAgent's Chief Accountant Emily Coltman is available to answer your questions in the comments.

Bookkeeping and tax tips

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