HMRC is urging Self Assessment customers to complete their Self Assessment tax return before the 31 January 2020 deadline.

About 5.4 million taxpayers have less than a month to complete their Self Assessment tax returns before the 31 January deadline.

More than 11 million 2018 to 2019 tax returns are due back with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by the end of January. Around 54% of taxpayers have already filed their returns with more than 5.6 million of those completed online (89% of the total returns filed).

The Self Assessment deadline on 31 January is fast approaching so customers have just under a month left to file their tax returns online to avoid any unnecessary penalties. Any tax due is also payable by 31 January.

Tax is automatically deducted from the majority of UK taxpayers’ wages, pensions or savings. For people or businesses where tax is not automatically deducted, or when they may have earned additional untaxed income, they are required to complete a Self Assessment tax return each year.

People need to complete a tax return if they:

  • or their partner received Child Benefit and either of them had an annual income of more than £50,000
  • received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example:
    • from tips or commission
    • money from renting out a property
    • income from savings, investments and dividends
    • foreign income
  • are self-employed sole traders and earned more than a £1,000
  • are a partner in a business partnership
  • are employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500
  • have an annual income over £100,000

The penalties for late tax returns are:

  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day may be charged, up to a maximum of £900
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months. Interest will be charged on all late payments.

If customers completed a Self Assessment tax return last year but didn’t have any tax to pay, they still need to complete a 2018 to 2019 tax return unless HMRC has written to them to say it is not required.

Customers who are not sure if they need to file a tax return can use the following tool: Check if you need to send a tax return.

If you are completing Self Assessment for the first time or are yet to start your 2018 to 2019 tax return, there is a wide range of support and guidance available on GOV.UK to help at every stage of the process. Help is also available on GOV.UK or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 and on social media.

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Karen Wilkinson works at London School of Finance and Law and writes articles on UK tax law for My Taxes Plus and other financial magazines.

 

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