Get your Self Assessment wrapped up in time for Christmas

With Christmas nearly here, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is encouraging Self Assessment filers to put their tax return at the top of their to-do list. Last year more than 2,800 customers chose to file their tax return on Christmas Day. But those who get their 2021 to 2022 Self Assessment wrapped up before Christmas can tick it off and enjoy the festivities.

Self Assessment filers need to complete their tax return and pay any tax owed by the 31st January 2023 deadline or risk having to pay a penalty. Those who file their return before 30th December 2022 may also have the option of paying any tax owed through their PAYE tax code.

Filing early means if customers owe money, they have plenty of time to explore which of the payment options available is best. Filers should include their bank account details so that if HMRC needs to repay them it can be done quickly and securely.

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

We are encouraging customers to plan their Self Assessment as they’d plan for Christmas – get organised, complete their to-do list with plenty of time to avoid that last minute rush. Just search ‘self assessment’ on GOV.UK to make a start.

The easiest and quickest way to complete a tax return is online through a Personal Tax Account where tax filers can start their return and go back to it as many times as they need before submitting it.

To make it even simpler, filers can now use the free and secure HMRC app to get their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), make Self Assessment payments and obtain their National Insurance number and employment history .

HMRC provide a wide range of resources to help filers complete their tax return, including guidance, webinars and YouTube videos.

They warn that filers need to be aware of the risk of scams as criminals use Self Assessment as an opportunity to commit fraud. Never share HMRC login details as criminals use them to steal or make a fraudulent claim. Customers should check’s HMRC scams advice.

Time to Pay

Those who are unable to pay their tax bill in full can access support and advice. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan, known as Time to Pay. Filers should try to do this online, alternatively, they can contact the helpline.

HMRC urge filers to never share their Government Gateway user ID and password. Someone using these details could steal from them or make a fraudulent claim in their name.

Potential fines

HMRC claim they will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as they focus their penalties on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. Those who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the 31st January 2023 deadline can avoid a penalty after this date.

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

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

Helping you get it right

HMRC wants to help you get your tax right. Lots of information and support is available which includes:

Those who no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return need to let HMRC know otherwise they will think you’re late with your tax return and may issue a penalty.

The government is offering help for households with cost of living support.

PAYadvice.UK 18/12/2022

Leave a Reply