You still need to file a tax return regardless of whether or not you are reporting Self-Employment income. You cannot file a tax return and claim a business loss if you were not "active" in your business and had no expectation of making a profit from it.
As for getting a "refund" for your expenses paid, any business expenses you have can only be used to reduce the actual business income you have earned. You can only receive an Income Tax Refund if you have actually paid income tax through deductions on your income sources. Business expenses do not provide you with a refund.