It won’t be long until we’re welcoming in the New Year and with it comes the Self Assessment deadline. File your tax return now to avoid the last-minute rush (and possible penalties)!
We’ve outlined some key points you’ll need to know before completing your Self Assessment, but our main piece of advice would be – get it done and out of the way before Christmas!
When is the deadline for Self Assessment digital submission?
For digital submissions, the deadline is midnight on the 31st January 2022. Now it might seem tempting to put it off until the last minute, but tax returns are notoriously complex, so you run the risk of not completing it in time and thereafter receiving a fine. Many people also forget that not only is your assessment due on the 31st January, but so is your tax payment.
We recommend completing your Self Assessment before Christmas so that you have time to resolve any issues or difficulties and pay your bill on time too.
Who needs to complete a Self Assessment?
There are various scenarios in which you might need to complete a Self Assessment. Some of the most common reasons are:
- You’re self employed/a sole trader who earned over £1,000 during the tax year (6th April 2020 – 5th April 2021)
- You’re a partner in a business partnership
- You have other forms of untaxed income, such as from renting out a property, tips or commission, savings and investments, or foreign income
What if I’m not registered?
If you haven’t submitted a Self Assessment before and you’re not yet registered, you need to ring HMRC as soon as possible. The deadline for registration was 5th October 2021 so you’ll need to explain the oversight. They’ll then advise you on how to proceed.
When do I need to pay my Self Assessment Tax bill?
Payment of your tax bill is also due by midnight on the 31st January 2022 (the same date that your Self Assessment is due). That’s why it’s really important to file your return early in case you run into any difficulty; otherwise you may face late-payment penalties.
What Is a ‘Payment On Account’?
Payments On Account help you split the cost of your tax bill. It involves making two advance payments (due by 31st January and 31st July), based on your previous year’s tax bill. If, after you’ve made both payments, you still have any outstanding tax, you’ll need to pay this by the 31st January the following year, along with the first instalment of your next tax bill. To give you a better understanding, visit the government website which gives a really good Payments On Account example.
How do I find help completing my Self Assessment?
The best place to get help is via HMRC. We’d highly recommend taking a look at all of their online resources before trying to contact them directly (there are huge wait times around this time of year so you’ll be on hold for quite a while!). You’ll find HMRC’s Self Assessment helpsheets here or if you prefer something more visual, watch their YouTube playlist.
Completing your Self Assessment early will give you breathing space if you need help or need to contact HMRC. As we’ve mentioned above, it’s a very busy period for HMRC so it will most likely take you a while to get through to someone (and you don’t want that added stress near the deadline!).
What if I miss the Self Assessment submission deadline?
If you miss the submission deadline, it’s important that you file your Self Assessment as soon as possible otherwise the penalties will continue to mount up. For the first 3 months that your tax return is overdue, you’ll be fined £100 (even if you have no tax to pay or you paid it on time). After 3 months, this fee will continue to increase – you can find out more about this via our Self Assessment FAQ blog.
P.S. Did you know that you can complete your Self Assessment online as early as the 6th April? So put the date in next year’s diary and submit your Self Assessment in April to avoid the last-minute rush!