This year HMRC has waived the penalty for missing the self assessment tax deadline (January 31st), effectively meaning that individuals have until February 28th to file their tax returns.
The self-assessment process can be long and complicated, and in some instances can take up to 20 days if you’re not registered correctly. So even though this is good news for self-employed workers, you should still file your tax returns as soon as possible, if you haven’t already.
The personal finance experts at money.co.uk have put together a quick and easy guide with all the need-to-know information when it comes to self-assessment.
James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at money.co.uk, said: “In a repeat of measures taken last year, HMRC has waived the late £100 penalty fee until February 28th. This is due to the ongoing pressures that individuals and businesses are facing due to issues relating to COVID-19.
“While the extension is good news for anyone struggling to submit their online tax return on time, you should not use it as a reason to delay starting the process. It can be long and complicated with masses of paperwork, so if you can, you should still aim to have everything in place by January 31.
“One of the most common mistakes made with tax returns is an incorrect tax code, so even if you think this doesn’t apply to you, it’s a good idea to check your tax code anyway, just to be sure. If HMRC has the wrong details then you could be paying too much, or too little, so check you have the right code before it’s too late.
“If you have never sent an online tax return before, the first thing you need to do is register with the government website. This process can take up to three weeks, so if you are registering for the first time, you still have time due to the HMRC extension.
“Once you have registered, you can sign in and use the free HMRC Self Assessment online service on the government site to submit your tax return. To complete the forms, you’ll need to gather all the relevant paperwork and documents, which can include your P60, P45, P11D or a P9D. You might also need to provide a summary of any rental income and expenses or statements of earnings from savings and investments.
“If you think you’ve made a mistake in submitting your tax return, it is possible to amend your self-assessment by submitting an amendment in writing or via the HMRC website. However, if this does happen to you, remember you only have 12 months to complete the process.
“If you’ve overpaid tax it’s relatively easy to claim it back. You shouldn’t need to use a third-party company, in fact, you can check whether it’s worth claiming a tax rebate for free using the HMRC tax checker.
“For more tips and tricks on completing your online self-assessment tax return, use money.co.uk’s handy guide here: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/a-beginners-guide-to-self-assessment.htm.”
James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.