The deadline for 2020/21 tax returns is 31 October 2021 for those completed on paper forms and 31 January 2022 for online returns. While the end of January is more than three months away, HMRC has already seen thousands of people filing their returns – more than 63,500 customers filed their tax return on 6 April, the first day of the tax year. Customers can file before the January deadline but still have until 31 January to pay.
Any customer who is new to Self Assessment must register via GOV.UK to receive their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Self-employed individuals must also register for Class 2 National Insurance.
HMRC is encouraging customers to register early so that they can access guidance and be aware of what they need to do. This includes record keeping, knowing when the filing and payment deadlines are, and the potential for a first tax payment to include a payment on account.
This year, customers will also have to declare if they received any grants or payments from COVID-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021 as these are taxable, including:
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
- Other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme
HMRC recognises that some customers may be worrying about paying their tax bill. Customers can access support to help pay any tax owed, and may be able to set up their own affordable monthly payment plan online by using HMRC’s self-serve Time to Pay facility. Customers should contact HMRC for help if they have concerns about paying their bill.
HMRC’s Myrtle Lloyd, Director General for Customer Services, said:
“We want to help people get their tax returns right by making sure they are prepared and have everything they need before they start their Self Assessment. If anyone is worried about paying their tax bill, support is available – search ‘time to pay’ on GOV.UK.”
The fastest way to complete a tax return is online via a customer’s Personal Tax Account. They will need their UTR to access their tax return, as well as details of their income or earnings and other financial records. Detailed information on what documents are needed for Self Assessment are on GOV.UK.
HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. HMRC sees high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from the department. If in doubt, HMRC advises not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact them straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.