With 100 days to go before the 31 January 2020 deadline, HMRC is warning taxpayers to complete their tax returns early to beat the Christmas and New Year rush
Self assessment tax returns have to be completed if a taxpayer has additional income outside of regular PAYE income taxed at source and last year nearly 10m taxpayers completed their returns online. Tax is automatically deducted from the majority of UK taxpayers’ wages, pensions or savings.
The deadline for paper tax returns is 31 October 2019 and the deadline for online tax returns and paying any tax owed is 31 January 2020. If the deadline is missed, HMRC issues fines of minimum £100 for late submissions even if no tax is owed.
For first time users of self assessment online need to register initially to use the online service. It can take a few days for the registration to arrive in the post, so it is important to register early.
A tax return must be filed if, in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April), you were:
- self-employed as a sole trader and earned more than £1,000; or
- a partner in a business partnership.
In addition, self assessment is required if money is earned from any of the following sources:
- money from renting out a property;
- tips and commission;
- income from savings, investments and dividends; and
- foreign income.
HMRC is also reminding people who are liable for the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) that they may need to file a tax return before the deadline. Those with income over £50,000 who receive child benefit, or whose partner gets it, are liable for the charge.
Taxpayers can check their annual income via their P60 or online digital tax account – known as a personal tax account - on the HMRC website, and use HMRC’s child benefit tax calculator. Note also that pension contributions are exempt from total salary when calculating HICBC.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: ‘The deadline for completing self assessment tax returns is only 100 days away, yet, so many of us wait until January to start the process. Avoid the last minute rush by completing your tax returns on time and then enjoy the upcoming festive period.
‘We want to help people get their tax returns right – starting the process early and giving yourself time to gather all the information you need will help avoid that stressful, late rush to file.’
Last year more than 2,000 people sent in their tax returns on Christmas Day. Taxpayers should consider submitting their returns early to avoid the stress of a last minute rush. By doing their self assessment return now, taxpayers can start planning their festive activities.
Filing online is free of charge so do not fall for copycat websites and phishing scams – always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to obtain the correct link to file a self assessment return online securely and free of charge.