More than 3,000 people submitted their Self Assessment tax return on Christmas Day and more than three times as many did so on Boxing Day  – 9,254. But the deadline is looming and there are 11 million tax returns due this year! If you still haven’t filed your return, you have until 11.59pm on Friday 31 January or face a fine. Last year more than 700,000 people failed to submit their tax return before the deadline.

Most UK taxpayers have their taxes deducted automatically from their wages, pensions or savings, and so don’t need to file a tax return. However, if any of the following applies to you, you will need to file a return for the last tax year (6 April 2018-5 April 2019):

  • You’re self-employed and your income was more than £1,000.
  • Your income was more than £50,000, and you or your partner claimed child benefit.
  • You earned more than £2,500 from renting out property, or from other untaxed income such as tips or commission.
  • You earned more than £100,000 in taxable income.
  • You earned £10,000 or more before tax from savings, investments, shares or dividends.
  • You earned income from abroad, or lived abroad and had a UK income.
  • You need to pay capital gains tax.
  • You received income from a trust.
  • Your state pension was more than your personal allowance and was your only source of income (unless you started getting your pension on or after 6 April 2016).
  • HMRC has told you that you didn’t pay enough tax last year (and you haven’t already paid up through your tax code or voluntary payments).
  • You filed a self-assessment tax return last year (even if you didn’t owe any tax). You’ll need to do this unless HMRC has already written to you to say you don’t need to file one.

The deadline for paper returns was 31 October, so filing online is now your only option.

What and how do I need to pay?

By 31 January 2020 you will need to pay any tax owed from 18/19 and most people will also need to pay the first half owed for 19/20. The second half must be paid by 31st July 2020. If you don’t think you’ll earn as much money, you can ask for your payment on account to be reduced. You will have to give a valid reason, such as an expected drop in profits or a change in circumstances. HMRC will usually send you a reminder about how much you owe.

Payments to HMRC can be made:

Same or next day

  • online or telephone banking (Faster Payments)
  • by debit or corporate credit card online
  • at your bank or building society (You need a paying-in slip from HMRC to pay at a bank or building society)

Minimum 3 working days

  • Bacs
  • Direct Debit (if you’ve set one up with HMRC before)
  • by cheque through the post

Minimum 5 working days

  • Direct Debit (if you have not set one up with HMRC before)

If the deadline falls on a weekend or bank holiday, make sure your payment reaches HMRC on the last working day before (unless you’re paying by Faster Payments or by debit or credit card).

What if I miss the Self Assessment deadline?

You will be charged a £100 penalty even if there is no tax to pay! After 3 months you will then incur a penalty of £10 per day up to £900. After 6 months there is a 5% additional penalty which is repeated at 12 months.

If you need help with your self assessment tax return give us a call on 01332 292022 or drop us an e-mail to