Self-employed – Tax return deadlines

Do you know the tax deadlines for self-employed people?

Are you self-employed? Are you a Partner in a business? Then you need to be aware of the key tax deadlines. Missing them could result in penalties and prove to be expensive. In today’s article, we check out some of the deadlines and identify why they’re important for you and for your business.

tax return deadlines

What is a self-assessment tax return?

In the UK we self assess. That means that we fill in a form to calculate the tax that we owe HMRC. For self-employed people this usually means that you work out your profit for the previous accounting year and the tax on this profit.

Do I have to send in a tax return?

You must send in a tax return if you

  • are self-employed – a Sole-trader who earned more than £1,000 in the year ending April 5th 2021 (before taking off anything you can claim or tax relief)
  • are a partner in a business partnership
  • earned income from renting property
  • received tips or commission
  • received income from savings, investments or dividends
  • earned overseas income

You can check if you need to do a tax return by clicking here.

Important deadlines for the self-employed

30th December 2021 – Opt into PAYE

Do you file your tax returns online and also have earnings taxed under PAYE? Then, you can choose to have overdue tax collected via PAYE. But, for this to be allowed, your self-employed tax bill must be below £3,000, and you must file your online return by this date. The advantage of this is that any tax payable would be paid over 12 months from April 2022, rather than in a single lump sum by 31st January 2022.

31st January 2022

If, like most people, you submit your tax return online, then the deadline for submission and payment is midnight on 31st January 2022. Any tax due must be paid by this same date.

31st July 2022 – payment on account due

Payments on account’ are advance payments towards your tax bill (including Class 4 National Insurance if you’re self-employed). You normally have to make 2 payments on account every year unless:

  • your last Self Assessment tax bill was less than £1,000
  • you’ve already paid more than 80% of all the tax you owe, for example through your tax code or because your bank has already deducted interest on your savings

Each payment is half your previous year’s tax bill. Payments are usually due by midnight on 31 January and 31 July.

What are the fines for being late with these tax return deadlines?

File your tax return late, or fail to pay the tax you owe on time, will almost certainly mean you face penalties and interest charges. Here are the penalties you’ll face –

  • 1 day late – £100 for one day after the deadline
  • Up to 3 months late – £10 for each additional day (capped at 90 days), plus £100 initial fine – maximum of £1,000
  • 6 months late – Either £300 or 5% of the tax due (whichever is higher), on top of the penalties above
  • 12 months late – An additional £300 fine, or 5% of the tax due, plus the above penalties. In the most serious cases, you could be fined 100% of the tax due.
tax return penalties

You’ll be charged interest on any tax that’s overdue.

Here is a link to the government website that enables you to estimate your penalty for Self Assessment tax returns more than 3 months late, as well as late payments.

Can I appeal against my penalty?

You have to have a very good reason for late submission or late payment to against your penalty. You may lodge an appeal, which will be considered if you give one or more of the following reasons:

  • Either your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return, or payment was due
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness
  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
  • you experienced service issues with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
  • postal delays that you could not have predicted
  • delays relating to a disability

How do I submit my 2020/21 tax return?

If this is the first time you’ve submitted a tax return, you’ll need to register with HMRC. You can do this online. Once you’ve registered, you can choose from two ways to submit your tax return to HMRC –

  • You can send a paper tax return
  • You can fill in an online tax return.

Should I look for help in completing my self-assessment tax return?

Using the service of a tax professional can both save you time and give you peace of mind.
The benefits of using a fully-qualified, professionally regulated tax agent to carry out your tax return include:

  • Comprehensive account taken of all your tax affairs
  • Total accuracy – meaning you’ll avoid penalties for mistakes
  • By meeting your tax deadlines, you’ll have a ‘clean’ tax record
  • Maximise tax efficiency – your specialist adviser will identify all the legitimate tax allowances and reliefs that you can claim for
  • An expert will know exactly what evidence is needed to support any tax relief claim
  • They will communicate with HMRC on your behalf – you’ll avoid long phone queues and having to answer potentially complex questions.

Self-assessment tax return summary

December 30th 2021Opt into PAYE
January 31th 2022Submit your online annual return for 2020/21
January 31st 2022Pay tax due for 2020/21
July 31st 2022Pay tax due on account for 2022/23

Advice on self-assessment tax returns

Our services cover most aspects of tax support relating to company and personal tax. To find out more, please get in touch.

Do you know the tax deadlines for self-employed people? […]

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