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Self-Assessment Deadlines: A Handy Guide

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 31 Jan 2015 | comments*Discuss
Self Assessment Tax Deadlines Payment

Self Assessment taxpayers have a range of responsibilities with which PAYE taxpayers do not have to contend. There are several important deadlines throughout the year to which you must adhere. Here is our handy guide to the year’s Self Assessment deadlines.

Filing Your Tax Return

There is a range of different deadlines for filing your Self Assessment Tax return. The deadline to which you must adhere depends on the filing method you choose.

If you choose to file your return on paper, you must make sure that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) receives it by midnight on 31 October. It is worth noting that you can theoretically deliver your tax return by hand, but many Tax Offices do not have the resources to accept them. It is therefore highly recommended that you send it in by post.

If you choose to file your tax return online, it must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January. Remember that you will need a Government Gateway username and password in order to file online, and this can take up to a week to arrive by post. You should therefore make sure that you leave enough time before the deadline.

If you owe less than £2,000, and you want HMRC to collect your tax via Your Tax Code, you will need to make sure that your tax return is submitted online by 30 December. Remember, though, that if HMRC is unable to alter your tax code, you may still be required to file again by 31 January. (For more information, read A Step-By-Step Guide to Completing Your Self Assessment.)

Making A Payment

There are also several payment deadlines throughout the year. The best-known of these is 31 January, on which you may need to make several different payments.

The first of these is the balancing payment – that is, the tax you owe for the previous tax year. If you made payments on account in the previous year, you will have paid some of this tax already. You may also have to make the first payment on account. This will normally be equal to 50% of your previous tax bill, excluding student loan repayments and Capital Gains Tax.

The second payment deadline is 31 July. On this date you will be required to make your second payment on account, which will normally be equal to your first.

Financial Penalties

You are legally obliged to meet the Self Assessment deadlines. If you fail to do so, you will receive the following financial penalties:
  • 1 day late – You will be charged a £100 penalty.
  • 3 months day late – You will be charged £10 for each following day, up to a 90 day maximum of £900.
  • 6 months late – You will be charged £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher.
  • 12 months late – You will be charged £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher. In serious cases, you may have to pay up to 100% of the tax due instead.
You may not have to pay a penalty if you have a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline. These include:
  • Your documents have been lost in a fire, flood or theft.
  • You have a life-threatening illness that has prevented you from completing your Self Assessment.
  • Your partner has died shortly before the deadline.
  • You have experienced technical problems with the online service.

What if I Can’t Pay my Tax?

If you Can’t Pay Your Tax, you should not ignore the situation. Call your Tax Office and explain the situation. They will then negotiate a payment settlement that will involve you paying the tax over a longer period of time. It is vital that you contact HMRC as soon as possible – if you simply ignore your bill, they will begin legal action to recover the money anyway.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
@Jane - yes you would. I have included a Gov.uk link herewhich tells you how and when you should register. I hope this helps.
TheTaxGuide - 2-Feb-15 @ 2:16 PM
I live permanently in France running a B&B here and pay the appropriate authorities here. I also do a small amount of Consultancy work for a UK based Company, earning around £7300 take home wages paid into my UK Bank account. Should I have filled in a tax return or self assessment? Thank you Jane
Jane - 31-Jan-15 @ 1:14 PM
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