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.

Disclaimer: The content included in this glossary is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this glossary. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.

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