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Of the 12.1 million self-assessment tax returns due, around 55% of taxpayers have already filed theirs, with more than 6.2 million of those completed online (93% of the total returns filed).

Among those who have already submitted their tax returns, almost 18,000 people chose to file their tax returns on New Year’s Day, with 1,943 completing their returns between 3pm and 3.59pm.

In addition, 31,400 people completed their 2019 to 2020 tax returns between 24th and 26th December, with 20,200 filing theirs on Christmas Eve, 2,700 on Christmas Day itself and a further 8,500 on Boxing Day.

Don’t delay, file today

Leaving your tax return until the last minute will increase the risk of mistakes being made. Incorrect tax returns could not only be costly in penalties but could also mean that a tax return needs to be redone and miss the deadline.

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.”

Once customers have completed their 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. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1st February 2021.

HMRC also advises you can set up a payment plan to spread the cost of your latest tax bill if it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline. This is another reason to get your return done as soon as possible, so you can be sure what you owe and potentially spread the cost.

If your tax return is outstanding

If you are completing your own tax return, HMRC’s online filing system can calculate your tax liability for you. However, it will not check whether your figures are correct or that you have claimed your full entitlement to expenses, reliefs and allowances.

Also bear in mind that HMRC’s helplines will generally only deal with ‘simple’ queries such as questions surrounding PAYE coding notices or the Marriage Allowance.

Therefore, why not use TaxAssist Accountants, we will look after all your tax affairs for you – from registering with HMRC, to completing your tax return, to calculating your tax liability and the due dates. We will ensure your affairs are as tax efficient as possible too.

If you are using an accountant, the main thing you need to do is make sure you get your records to them in good time and give them as much information as possible.

Penalties for late tax returns

If your return is sent in late, you will be subject to an initial £100 penalty. 

HMRC can also charge extra penalties if your tax return is filed more than three months late or where information has been deliberately withheld/concealed.

A tax return filed a year late could face penalties of at least £1,600 – and this could escalate depending on the level of tax due.

Need help with your tax return?

If you are not sure if you need to complete a self-assessment tax return, or are doing so for the first time, we can help.

We love working with self-employed professionals and independent business owners and if you are not receiving the service and support you deserve from your accountant then please talk to us on 0203 325 9825 or use our online enquiry form. We offer free initial consultations, advice and support over the phone or via video meeting if you have any concerns about face-to-face meetings.

Last updated: 6th January 2021

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