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Less distraction, more action! 3.8 million Self Assessments still to be filed

With only one week to go until the 31 January Self Assessment deadline, the 3.8 million people yet to file their tax return are urged to act now or risk facing a £100 penalty.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is expecting more than 12.1 million tax returns to be filed for the 2022 to 2023 tax year along with any payment that is owed. To date more than 8.3 million online returns have already been received.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“If you are a Self Assessment taxpayer, now is the time to take action and get your return done. People can familiarise themselves with the process by checking out HMRC’s online resources on GOV.UK.

“Once a tax return is submitted, it’s easy to find out what’s owed and to pay online or using the HMRC app. Just search ‘pay my Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.”

For anyone unable to pay in full, HMRC wants to help find an affordable way to pay the tax they owe. They may be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement and can find out how to do this online, without speaking to HMRC, if they owe less than £30,000.

It is quick and easy to pay Self Assessment tax bills online or using the HMRC app. A full list of payment options can be found on GOV.UK.

When completing a return, it is important to ensure bank account details are included, so that if HMRC needs to make a repayment, they can do so quickly and securely without needing to issue a cheque.

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, 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

HMRC will consider a customer’s reasons for not being able to meet the deadline.Those who provide a reasonable excuse may avoid a penalty.

There are also additional penalties for paying outstanding tax late. These are 5% of that unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months. Interest will also be charged on any tax paid late.

Before picking up the phone to HMRC for Self Assessment help, check for the answer online. It is much quicker, and the most common queries can be answered within a couple of minutes. The online tool can be used to check if you need to complete a tax return, find help on how to fill it out by viewing HMRC’s YouTube videos and find out where your refund is by using the where’s my reply tool.

It is important to let HMRC know of any changes to personal details or circumstances, such as a new address or name, or if you have stopped being self-employed or your business has closed.

Anyone who thinks they no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, should tell HMRC – so that they can issue a withdrawal notice – before the deadline on 31 January 2024 to avoid any penalties. HMRC has produced two videos explaining how to go online and stop Self Assessment for those who are self-employed and those who are not self-employed.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams and should never share their HMRC login details with anyone, including a tax agent, if they have one. HMRC scams advice is available on GOV.UK.