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It is coming up to that time of year when you need to start thinking about your self-assessment tax return for the tax year 6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018. There are a few options available to you if you file a self-assessment with the HMRC, whether you do it yourself or have your accountant manage things on your behalf. This month we start to take a look at what those deadline options are and what you need to do, before you get too caught up in the return to work and school and even the run up to Christmas (yes, it will be here before you know it!).

Deadline dates

There are three key dates and you need to determine which one you are working towards:

31 October 2018 if you are filing a paper return. Note that if you have received notification from HMRC that you must submit a tax return after 31 July then you have three months to do so from the date of issue on the notice.
30 December 2018 if you would like HMRC to automatically collect tax owed from your pay or pension.  NB: you must be eligible for this… Read on for full details.
31 January 2019 if you are filing a return online.

There is one other exception to the 31 January 2019 deadline. If you are a registered pension trustee or a non-resident company then your return cannot be done online and must be in paper form by this date.

Eligibility for submission of your return on 30 December 2018 depends on fulfilling the following criteria:

Your tax bill comes to less than £3,000.
You are already a tax payer through the PAYE system – for example, as an employee or through your pension.
You have submitted your return either by 31 October or 30 December.

However, if the following apply to you then this option is not available to you:

Your PAYE income is not enough for HMRC to collect through it.
Your tax bill comes to more than 50% of your PAYE income.
You must pay more than twice as much tax as you would usually pay.

Registration and penalties

If you have not yet registered for a self-assessment return, then you have until 5 October to do so in order to be able to meet the return deadlines. There are different routes to registering, depending on whether you are a sole trader or self-employed, a partnership or a partner in one, or if you are not self-employed. You can visit the HMRC website for full details and can complete registrations online.

If you miss your return deadline by up to three months then you will have to pay a £100 penalty. Any further delay beyond three months incurs an additional penalty and you will also be charged for any late payment of tax owed.

For help navigating tax and self-return assessments, talk to our accountants at Bells Inc. Hamilton Stewart. With extensive experience in all matters related to HMRC we are ideally placed to assist no matter how large or small, simple or complex your circumstances may be. All you need to do is get in touch with us by dropping us a line on or by calling us on 020 8763 1711.