The High Income Child Benefit Charge may be required to be paid if a person has an individual income which is greater than £50,000, and either they or their partner gets Child Benefit, or “someone else gets Child Benefit for a child living with them and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child’ s upkeep” the government website states. If a person is already getting Child Benefit, then they can either stop getting Child Benefit, or continue to get the payment and pay any tax charge at the end of each tax year. Those affected need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return each year, and pay what they owe.
Should a person not usually send a tax return, then they need to register by October 5 – following the tax year they need to pay the tax charge.
Once they have done this, they will get a letter which explains what they need to do next.
In addition to those who need to pay to the High Income Child Benefit Charge, there are a number of other individuals who may need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for 2018/19.
This includes those who earned more than £2,500 from renting a property, or who received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, such as from tips or commission.
A person who has an annual income over £100,000 will also need to complete the return.
Another reason is if they are self-employed sole traders, limited company directors, shareholders, or employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500.
Zena Hanks, partner in the Private Wealth team at Saffery Champness, commented: “As we approach the 5th October deadline to register for Self Assessment tax returns, we can expect to see the annual rush of people who have hitherto stuck to the paper method or are trying to register for Self Assessment with HMRC for the first time.
“With a growing number of self-employed, gig and access economy entrepreneurs using online Self Assessment, it is easy to forget that there is a myriad of other taxpayers who also need to file a Self Assessment tax return. Many of which may be running out of time to register.
“The Self Assessment population includes anyone who is a shareholder, a limited company director or has an annual income in excess of £100,000. However, it also extends to those who have earned as little as £2,500 in either rental income or another form of untaxed income such as tips or commission and where a tax liability needs to be reported to HMRC.
“Perhaps most surprising of all, Self Assessment is the designated tax filing system for parents who receive both Child Benefit and earn more than £50,000 per annum.
“All-in-all these criteria apply to individuals in a diverse range of income brackets, occupations and statuses – from high-earning CEOs to those working a second job in order to make ends meet – which makes any targeted awareness campaign almost impossible to orchestrate effectively.
“Ultimately, it is often the case that many individuals are unaware of the registration deadline, with attention focused instead on the more conspicuous deadline to file their returns by 31st January.
“It is vital that those who have not registered online previously register an account in plenty of time, otherwise they risk missing the returns deadline, which according to HMRC, 700,000 people did in January 2019.”
Ms Hanks explained that failing to register ahead of the deadline on Saturday could result in HMRC fining the taxpayer.
“It is also important to remember that the registration procedure is by no means an immediate process, and requires an activation code which will only arrive, by post, within 10 days of registering. This is important to bear in mind when considering timescales,” she said.
“If a taxpayer fails to register in time and is therefore unable to file their return by 31st January, like those of previous years, they may be subject to HMRC’s fines, which depending on the length of the delay, can tally into the thousands of pounds.”