Self-Assessment Tax Return deadline

The online Self Assessment Tax Return deadline is always fast approaching, but don’t panic if it’s slipped your mind. As a contractor you’ve got a lot to think about, so we would like to remind you that there’s still time to get everything submitted ahead of the 31st January.

We’ve put together a few helpful tips to speed up the process, to ensure you don’t receive a penalty for submitting a late return.

Get all your documents in one place

It’s always a good idea to be organised, but this is easier said than done. Take some time to ensure your documents are in one place before starting the tax return process, these include gathering the following records:

  • A P11D showing any benefits or expenses
  • Savings and investment statements showing how much you have earned in interest
  • Details of any dividend income
  • Details of any self-employment income, including bank statements and accounts

If you’re missing any of these documents, HMRC recommends contacting your bank for statements, and suppliers you’ve worked with for duplicate invoices. Take a look at their help page for further guidance.

Don’t leave it too late

Ideally, you’ll have everything submitted well in advance of the 31st January deadline, but time can fly when you’re enjoying the freedom of being your own boss. You can send it at a later date, however, HMRC will begin to add penalty charges at the following rates:

  • 1 day late (1 Feb): £100
  • 3 months late (1 May): £10 per day up to a maximum of £900 (90 days)
  • 6 months late (1 Aug): £300 or 5% of the tax owing, whichever amount is greater
  • 12 months late (1 Feb): £300 or 5% of the tax owing, whichever amount is greater

If you are in a position where you cannot pay before the deadline, HMRC has a dedicated tax return support service in place.

There are such things as reasonable excuses

Of course, there are times when life just gets in the way of your career. If you have a reasonable and legitimate excuse for missing the deadline, it’s worth contacting HMRC and talking things through. If they view it as genuine and approve it, then you could avoid paying a penalty. These shouldn’t be taken lightly and are analysed on a case-by-case basis.

HMRC has provided a list of reasonable excuses, however, you should not rely on these to gain extra time to submit your tax return.

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