The self-assessment deadline is close – are you ready?

Taxpayers who are required to complete an online self-assessment tax returns have until midnight on 31 January 2020 to submit them electronically to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to avoid a filing penalty of £100. The penalty is charged automatically where the return is filed late, even if there is no tax to pay. 

Where the return is filed late, a calculator to estimate the late filing penalty is available on the website at

Many businesses are required to submit a self-assessment return and if you haven’t done so yet, you should seek advice urgently. You must send a tax return if, in the last tax year (6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019), you traded as a partnership, you were self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000, or a partner in a business partnership. You will not usually need to send a return if your only income is from your employment or pensions. But you may need to send one if you have any other untaxed income, such as income from renting out a property, income from savings, investments and dividends, foreign income or have made pension contributions or are subject to the higher Income Child Benefit Charge. 

Any tax outstanding for the tax year ending 5 April 2019 is due by 31 January 2020 and will be subject to interest and penalties on the amount due if not settled by that date.  You should always make sure you allow time for payments to be processed to make sure it arrives in HMRC’s bank account on time.

Paul Brown, Tax Partner at Whittingham Riddell“Every year thousands of people fall foul of HMRC’s strict deadlines for self-assessment tax returns, but it doesn’t have to be like this. At Whittingham Riddell, we understand that people are busy at this time of year, so it pays to get a helping hand with your tax return. Contacting an accountant may take away the worry of filing deadlines being missed and provide tax planning options for you.”

Paul adds “We are now approaching the end of another tax year and there is still time for individuals to conduct tax planning in order to minimise their liabilities for this tax year and potentially reduce payable at 31st January 2020.”

“It is never too late to speak to a tax adviser about opportunities to reduce your tax bill. There are a number of HMRC-approved tax reliefs on offer that some people may not be aware of or believe that they are not entitled to,” said Paul. 

“In most cases, a quick discussion with a tax professional will give you a better idea of whether you are paying too much tax.”

For any help and advice contact our Tax Team on  or visit

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