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Self-employed taxpayers, company directors and taxpayers with complex tax affairs are usually required to submit a Self Assessment tax return. If your affairs are straightforward you may be able to complete your own tax return. Otherwise you can ask an accountant to prepare your tax return – and they will tell you what information they need from you to do this. They will also ensure that the return is completed properly, all relevant offsets, expenses, allowances and tax reliefs are claimed, that you satisfy all of the key time limits and pay the correct amount of tax when it falls due.

Even if you do use an accountant, it will remain your legal responsibility to inform HMRC if there is tax to be paid through Self Assessment.

Tax returns are issued annually following the end of the tax year on 5 April. Tax returns have to be submitted by the following 31 October in paper form and by 31 January using an online submission facility.


The CIS is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance (NI) for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as ‘contractors’ and ‘subcontractors’.

The scheme applies mainly to contractors and sub-contractors involved in construction however, certain businesses that are not in the business of construction but have a significant amount of annual spend may also count as contractors.

A subcontractor is a business that carries out construction work for a contractor. It can include an agency if a worker carries out construction operations under the terms of the contract they have with the agency. This is not the case if the agency merely introduces the worker to the contractor.

Subcontractors also need to register with HMRC and should keep HMRC informed of any changes in their business (including changes to the structure, address, business name, partners etc).

Online filing of monthly returns is compulsory. The monthly return relates to each tax month (i.e. running from the 6th of one month to the 5th of the next). The deadline for submission is 14 days after the end of the tax month. Even if no subcontractors have been paid during a month, contractors still have to make a nil return. All contractors are obliged to file monthly even if they are entitled to pay their PAYE quarterly.