HMRC: less than a month to file tax return

Around 5.4m taxpayers have less than a month (25 days) to complete their self assessments ahead of the 31 January deadline

HMRC expects 12.1m tax returns to be filed this year. Around 55% have already filed their returns, with more than 6.2m choosing to submit online (93% of all returns filed), and 450,000 opting to file on paper as of latest statistics from 4 January.

Almost 18,000 taxpayers chose to start the new year by filing their tax returns on 1 January, with 1,943 completing their returns between 15:00 and 15:59.

Those who are yet to file a return are being urged to act now, as it may be a more time-consuming process than anticipated.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s interim director general for customer services, said: ‘In what was a very difficult year for many, we are grateful to the 55% of our customers who have already submitted their returns.

‘HMRC is ready to offer support to those who are yet to file their returns or are worried about paying their tax bill, but they must act now so we can help before the deadline.'

Time to Pay conditions

Once taxpayers have completed their tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to spread the cost of their latest self assessment bill if they owe £30,000 or less, and do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC.

They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits and this can all be done online. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

If taxpayers do not keep up with repayments, HMRC can ask them to pay everything they owe.

Fraud protection

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. Taxpayers should always type in the full online address to get the correct link for their self assessment tax return online securely and free of charge.

They also need to be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that they can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax - it might be a scam.

To protect against identity fraud taxpayers must verify their identity when accessing HMRC’s online services. They must have two sources of information including:

  • credit reference agency data;
  • tax credits;
  • P60/payslip; and
  • UK Passport.

Taxpayers can also check on GOV.UK whether they need to declare, or possibly pay tax on any ‘casual’ income they receive. The new interactive guidance is quick and easy to use and explains what individuals need to do if they receive non-PAYE income from:

  • selling things, for example at car boot sales or auctions, or online;
  • doing casual jobs such as gardening, food delivery or babysitting;
  • charging other people for using your equipment or tools; and
  • renting out property or part of their home, including for holidays (for example, through an agency or online).

Useful links:

Time to Pay eligibility

Tax on casual income checker

To protect from fraud, check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact.

Zak Jakubowski |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2019-2021]

Zak Jakubowski was a reporter at Accountancy Daily, published by ...

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