As we get ever closer to the new year, it’s important to make sure you have your self-assessment tax return ready to file before the deadline.

Although many people will get their return sorted months in advance, many taxpayers wait until the very last minute. We heavily advise against this. If you miss the deadline, HMRC will ensure you find out about it in the form of penalties.

So if you still haven’t put the finishing touches to your return, now is the time to do so.

When is the exact deadline?

Anyone submitting an online self-assessment tax return has until midnight on 31 January to make sure their accurate returns are submitted to HMRC. This is also the same deadline for paying any tax you owe to the Government.

If you want HMRC to automatically collect the tax you owe from your salary or pension, you can submit your return by 30 December, but only if you meet the eligibility criteria.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

Missing your return deadline can have serious consequences. You’ll receive a £100 late filing penalty if you miss the deadline. If you still haven’t submitted your return 30 days after the deadline, you’ll have to pay 5% interest on any tax you owe.

The longer you wait, the more HMRC will charge you. Anyone filing their return three months late will incur a daily penalty of £10 for up to 90 days.

From there, anyone filing six months late will either pay a further 5% of the outstanding bill or £300, whichever value is greater. HMRC will charge an extra 5% on any outstanding tax after 12 months.

If HMRC decides that you’re deliberately avoiding filing your return and paying your tax, you’ll be liable to pay 50%-100% of the tax you owe on top of your outstanding bill.

Anyone who has missed their deadline should contact HMRC as soon as possible. In doing so, you can set up a catch-up arrangement, known as the time to pay (TTP) scheme, which will allow you to spread any costs over a scheduled payment window.

How you can avoid penalties

You can take many steps to avoid missing your self-assessment deadline throughout the year.

The first thing Stapletons recommends is getting a head start on your return. You can file your self-assessment for the previous tax year any time after the start of the new one.

This means you can file your return for the 2022/23 tax year after 6 April 2023. By getting ahead, you can plan and budget accordingly, as well as cut out any risk of incurring penalties.

With more time to spare, you’ll minimise the risk of any errors, as you’ll be able to fill your return out carefully instead of running against the clock.

Another good way to prevent penalties is talking to us. We help self-employed taxpayers file their returns accurately and well ahead of time every year. Our personal tax planning services will make light work of your annual reporting.

Ask us for help

It is just a matter of time until we reach the self-assessment deadline, so if you’re concerned about whether you’ll meet it, our team can help get you up to speed and relieve the stress.

Talk to us about your self-assessment.


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