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HMRC: Don’t forget the Self Assessment deadline

HMRC is reminding self assessment taxpayers to complete their tax return ahead of the deadline on 31 January 2021.

Each year, around 11m people complete a self assessment tax return. Taxpayers can complete their 2019-20 tax return at any time up to the deadline but HMRC recommends completing it early to allow them time to pay their tax bill or set up a payment plan.

Most people choose to complete their tax return online, which provides an immediate calculation of any tax owed.

People completing a paper tax return have until 31 October 2020 to send their completed form to HMRC.

Taxpayers must complete a self assessment return if:

  • they have earned more than £2,500 from renting out property;
  • they have received, or their partner has received, Child Benefit and either of them had an annual income of more than £50,000;
  • they have received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission;
  • they are a self-employed sole trader whose annual turnover is over £1,000;
  • they are an employee claiming expenses in excess of £2,500;
  • they have an annual income of over £100,000; or
  • they have earned income from abroad that they need to pay tax on.

HMRC’s interim director general of customer services Karl Khan said: ‘The vast majority of self assessment taxpayers complete their tax return by the 31 January deadline, but you don’t need to wait until January; you can send it back now and get it out of the way.

‘HMRC is determined to help people during this difficult time. We know many will have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or will need help to spread the cost of their tax bill.

‘That’s why we’ve made it quick and simple to set up a payment plan to spread the costs and help people get back on their feet. It’s easy to do online and there’s no need to call us to set it up.’

Limited company directors who are currently in self assessment but no longer meet any other criteria to remain in scope, can either:

  • Complete their tax return by the deadline. HMRC will update their record and they will not be issued a notice to file for the following year.
  • If the director no longer satisfies the criteria for this year, they can call HMRC who can agree to withdraw the notice.

Once self assessment taxpayers have completed their 2019-20 tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000.

They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits and this can all be done online so there is no need to phone HMRC.

If the self assessment debts are over £30,000, or taxpayers need longer than 12 months to pay their debt in full, they may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the self assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

They can also visit GOV.UK to find out more about the service and if they are eligible.

Contact us if you need help with your Tax Return

Be scam smart

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. Always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for filing your self assessment return online securely and free of charge.

Also be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax. It might be a scam. Check GOV.UK for information on how to a recognise genuine HMRC contact.

How can we help you?

Brearley & Co Accountants are pleased to offer a free, no obligation, initial consultation with one of our experts who will be happy to discuss your business needs and how we can help you.