Self Assessment tax return: Warning as Britons must complete by midnight tonight – act now

Martin Lewis provides advice on self-assessment tax deadline

Self Assessment is a process used by HMRC to collect Income Tax from millions of people right across the country. Self-employed workers and others who are eligible will have to file their relevant documentation by tonight, or risk facing additional charges. While HMRC recently announced there would be no Self Assessment late filing penalty for those who miss tonight’s deadline, this will only be the case for those who file online by February 28.

Experts have therefore warned people not to use this as a ‘get out of jail free card’, and act imminently to file.

Some Britons may choose to apply for Time to Pay to help them with a Self Assessment tax bill.

But HMRC has said: “Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from February 1, 2021.”

People can file their Self Assessment tax return on the government’s website using the official portal.

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Individuals will be able to do this if they are self-employed, or if they aren’t self-employed but still send a tax return.

But for those who have not yet filed, some last minute tips may smooth the process and help Britons along. 

Express.co.uk spoke to Mike Parkes, Technical Director at GoSimpleTax, for more information ahead of tonight’s deadline.

He said: “The secret to submitting your Self Assessment tax return on time and correctly is to be extremely organised, ready for the January 31 deadline.

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“You must also be completely clear about what it is HMRC is looking for, otherwise the whole process can turn out to be both stressful and slightly overwhelming.

“Think about it in six parts: do I need to submit a Self Assessment? When do I need to fill it in by? When and how do I register? What sections apply to me? What expenses can I claim on?

“Finally – the most important part – how do I pay my final tax bill?

“Address each one of these carefully and the January 31 online deadline will come and go pain-free!”

When it comes to filling in the Self Assessment form itself, Mr Parkes provided some last minute tips likely to help.

Firstly, he stated, it is vital to have everything a person needs to hand, including records such as receipts and invoices collected throughout the tax year.

The kind of information Britons will need is as follows:

  • A UTR number
  • A National Insurance number
  • Details on untaxed income for the year
  • Records of any expenses
  • Records of any charitable or pension contributions

Once a person has filled out the relevant parts and has submitted their Self Assessment tax return, they will then be informed about how much they will need to pay in tax.

There are a number of ways to meet the bill, including online or telephone banking, a system called CHAPS, or a debit card.

Mr Parkes concluded: “The entire process can seem complex but take your time and ensure your house is in order throughout the tax year.

“It’s easy to neglect the paperwork when you’re busy working, but you’ll thank yourself for doing it when the time comes to do next year’s Self Assessment.

“By keeping a close eye on the books all year round, you’ll see where you could save money, understand what areas of your work are most profitable, and be aware of upcoming payments.”

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to personal.finance@reachplc.com

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