One month to go until the self assessment tax returns deadline

THE deadline to submit your self assessment tax return is in one month – or you risk being slapped with a hefty fine.

Millions of Brits are required to submit a return by January 31, but plenty still leave it until the last minute.

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The deadline to submit your self assessment tax return is in one monthCredit: Getty Images – Getty

HMRC is yet to release this year’s figures, but last year about 11.7million people were required to submit a return.

And seven days ahead of the same January 31 deadline, 2.1million still hadn’t filed it.

If you fail to file and then pay any tax you owe in time for the deadline, you’ll be hit with a £100 fine on the first late day.

You could then be hit with fines of up to £1,000 in total in the first six months.

Although you can appeal a penalty if you have a reasonable excuse.

After six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater, will be applied.

And if you still haven’t filed your return after a year, you’ll be hit with another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are also additional penalties for paying your tax late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months, and 12 months.

You can calculate how much your fine will be on the Gov.uk website.

The deadline on January 31 is for the last tax year, which started on April 6, 2019, and ended on April 5, 2020.

How do you know if you need to submit a tax return?

Self-assessment is a system HMRC uses to collect income tax.

Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings, but people and businesses with other incomes must report it in a tax return.

We’ve made a list of who it applies to below:

  • Earned more than £2,500 from renting out property
  • You or your partner received high income child benefits and either of you had an annual income of more than £50,000
  • Received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
  • Are self-employed sole traders
  • Are limited company directors
  • Are shareholders
  • Are employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500
  • Have an annual income over £100,000

How do I fill in the tax return?

Before you can complete and submit your tax return, you’ll need to have a so-called unique taxpayer reference (UTR) and activation code from HMRC.

This can take a while to receive, so if it’s the first time you’re completing self-assessment, make sure you register online as soon as possible.

To sign in or register visit the “Self Assessment tax return” section of HMRC’s website.

If you’ve already signed up for self-assessment, you can find your UTR on relevant letters and emails from HMRC.

HMRC accepts your payment on the date you make it, not the date it reaches its account – including on weekends.

So if you want to pay by bank transfer you can do so up until the evening of January 31, but it’s best to get it out the way in advance.

If you need to change your tax return after you’ve filed it, you can do so within 12 months of the original deadline or you can write to HMRC for any changes after that.

Filling in your tax return can seem daunting, but with our step-by-step guide you’ll have it sorted in no time.

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On Christmas Day this year, 2,700 Brits people filed their tax returns, in comparison to over 3,000 people who did the same thing last year.

Last year, HMRC hit hundreds of taxpayers with £100 late fines despite filing on time.

While in February, a woman got a £1,316 HMRC tax fine refunded after The Sun stepped in.

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