It’s time to get ready for the Self-Assessment tax deadline

The deadline to complete your tax return is fast approaching. We’ve pulled together some helpful hints to get you ready:


Updated: HMRC are waiving late filing and late payments for Self Assessment taxpayers as announced on 6 January 2022.

Whilst the original deadline of the 31 January, to file and pay remains, the penalty waivers mean that:

  • anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February
  • anyone who cannot pay their Self Assessment tax by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 1 April

Interest will be payable from 1 February, as usual, so it is still better to pay on time if possible. Further information can be found on the website.

When do I need to pay by?

You can submit your Self-Assessment earlier than the 31 January deadline if you wish and this does come with additional advantages, such as:

  • Earlier refunds if you’ve overpaid
  • It’s easier to plan future finances
  • It gives you time to ask for professional advice
  • Limits the mistakes that come with the panic of a deadline.

On that last point, HMRC released information from the 2020 that showed 700,000 people submitted their tax returns on deadline day, with the peak hour occurring at 4-4:59pm when nearly 57,000 completed their returns. Amazingly, 26,500 completed their forms in the last hour! The rush can lead to mistakes and mistakes lead to fines from HMRC. If you’ve been careless, then HMRC can charge up to 30 per cent of the tax due.

I’m convinced that I need to act early, what now?

It’s time to get gathering – make sure you have all the necessary documents ready to go. The government website has help sheets that you can download to support you through this. Some of the documentation you’ll need includes:

  • NI number
  • Your untaxed income from the tax year
  • Any expenses claimed that relate to your self-employment
  • Contributions to charity and pensions
  • P60 or other records showing the income you’ve received

You’ll also need an online account and UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) number to file your return.

If it’s your first time, you’ll need to apply for a UTR when you register online. It can take 10 days to arrive by mail so submit your application now to ensure that you have sufficient time to activate your account.

Did you take advantage of deferred payments or support scheme?

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus crisis, some taxpayers might be facing three payments this time around:

  1. A deferred payment from July 2020
  2. Any 2019 to 2020 balancing charge
  3. The first 2020 to 2021 payment on account.

If any grants or payments were claimed from the COVID-19 support schemes, including Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to 5 April 2021, then these will also need to be declared as they are taxable.

We’re ready to help you through the process. If you’d like to talk through what this means for you and your business, please call us on 01782 279615 and we’ll work with you to make sure you’re ready too.

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