Self assessment tax returns – 15 days and counting

Self Assessment 2021-22

Usually this is a post I write in December, when I urge you not to lose your holiday season to tax return completion, but this year I thought I’d take a look back at the festive period and see what happened…

According to HMRC, while I was entertaining my brother and his family, who arrived with us on Christmas Eve morning and stayed until Boxing Day evening, more than 22,000 tax payers were logging on to the website to complete their 2021-2022 self assessment tax returns.

We, on the other hand, went to the Panto at Stockport Plaza, took a walk down Warwick Drive in Hazel Grove to experience a Christmas Lights display “better than Blackpool illuminations”, have a good old blended family gathering with 10 for Christmas dinner and 17 for evening entertainment, and a VIP experience absolutely second to none at Stockport County Football Club. County not only beat rivals Crewe Alexandra 2-0, the food and entertainment was superb with a pre match intro by none other than Dave Challinor, and Steve Bellis kindly gave a shout out to my nephews all the way from New Zealand and attending their first ever football match – they were chuffed to bits to get some photos with the team – thanks Steve and everyone involved in making the day such a great one!!

Anyway, I digress… I was talking about tax returns… I know what I would rather have been doing over Christmas!

So, here’s the breakdown of those three days:
  • Christmas Eve: 8,474 tax returns filed online
  • Christmas Day: 3,275 tax returns filed online
  • Boxing Day: a whopping 10,311 tax returns were filed online!

If this was you, or worse… if you have yet to file yours, may I respectfully suggest that you make one of your New Year’s Resolutions to do it a little earlier next year? After all, it doesn’t matter when you complete and submit your tax return to HMRC between 6 April 2023 and 31 January 2024, you still don’t have to send a penny to them before that 31 January filing deadline.

And what if you miss the 31 January deadline?

If you happen to miss the 31 January filing deadline, and fail to pay any tax liability due over to HMRC before that date, then you will face the following charges:

  • Any return filed after midnight on 31 January but before 30 April: Flat £100 penalty
  • More than three months, but less than six months late: Penalties of an additional £10 per day for a maximum of 90 days (£900)
  • More than six, but less than 12 months: A further penalty of the greater of either 5% of tax due, or £300
  • More than 12 months late: A further penalty as above, AND you may also have to pay up to 100% of the tax you owe on top of all the penalties!!!


If you do owe any tax, you will also pay interest on any late payment from the first day which this is late, at a rate currently set at 6%, and calculated daily (so you will pay interest on the penalties also!)

HMRC are very happy to help you set up payments by instalments, and so long as your liability is less than £30,000 you can do this very simply online:

If you haven’t yet started pulling together the information required to prepare and submit your self assessment tax return, then here is a link to a video we prepared a few years ago to help you:

As ever, if you have any questions, about this or any other tax or accounting query, please do get in touch and the IN Team will be more than happy to help you:

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