UK

HMRC Self Assessment Tax Return Deadline: 5 Things You Should Know

Not long to go now...

10/01/2017 16:15 GMT | Updated 23/01/2017 13:10 GMT

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive your 2015-16 Self Assessment online tax returns and any money owed by the deadline of 31 January 2017.

There is an additional payment deadline of 31 July if you make advance payments towards your bill, known as “payments on account”.

  • You will need to send a tax return if…
    maxsattana via Getty Images
    You were self-employed, you received £2,500 or more in untaxed income, your savings or investment income was £10,000 or more before tax or your income or your partner’s was over £50,000 and one of you claimed child benefit. Check the HMRC website for further stipulations. 
  • To file your tax return online for the first time you will need to register
    anyaberkut via Getty Images
    To do this you will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference, which you will find on the registration letter HMRC sent you. You will then need to create a Government Gateway account and activate the service using the code you’ll be sent in the post - this may take a few days so get the ball rolling.   
  • Penalties apply if you’re late, though you can appeal against a fine if you have a reasonable excuse
    itsxtian via Getty Images
    Reasonable excuses which will be taken into consideration include the death of a partner or close relative, evidence you’ve experienced an unexpected stay in hospital, a serious or life-threatening illness, your computer or software failed just before you were preparing your online tax return and postal delays you couldn’t have predicted.
  • Those penalties can add up...
    Chris Ryan via Getty Images
    The penalties for late returns are an initial £100 fine, with additional penalties of £10 a day, up to a maximum of £900.

    Further penalties of £300 are imposed after six months and a year if the bill is still unpaid. You do the math... 
  • Claiming your yacht caught fire with your tax return on it probably won't work
    John White Photos via Getty Images
    Unreasonable excuses have included yacht fires, wasps and children’s scribble.

    Unsurprisingly, all of these excuses were rejected.