Anyone with tax still to pay from the previous financial year must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by 5 October or face a £100 penalty.

Specifically, you must tell HMRC you need to file a tax return.

It is estimated more than nine million people have to fill in a tax return for the tax year ending 5 April 2009.

Those who need to act

If you have not previously filled in a tax return, or have not notified HMRC you need to, and:

  • You are self employed.
  • You receive any untaxed income, such as from a second job or investment property.
  • You have received a large increase in income, such as an inheritance. If you save or invest that income you may also need to pay tax on the interest.
  • You have made a profit by selling an asset such as shares, a valuable possession or a property that's not your main home.

Those who do not need to act

  • If you automatically receive a tax return form or have been notified in writing that you will receive one. However, you must, of course, file your return by the stated deadline.
  • Individuals who have all their taxes deducted by their employer do not need to do anything as they are up-to-date.

How to inform HMRC

Specifically, you need to let your assigned tax office know that you need to complete a return. The HMRC website can help you find that office.

Further reading/Key links

Tax rates: 2009/10 income tax guide
Tax credit guide: Tax Credits
Check benefits: Benefits Check-up