January Self-Assessment deadline is looming

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Admin note: Originally published 8th August 2018.

For those of us who file for Self-Assessment tax, January Self-Assessment deadline is looming. It is time for all self-employed to be running around, looking for receipts and generally panicking about getting everything in with HMRC or to their accountant on time.

Getting everything together in order to file your Self-Assessment tax can be a time consuming exercise, especially if you are not prepared.

A few small tips can help make planning for the event easier:

  1. Try to run a cash book for your business – Keep good records and this should help you or your accountant file adequately.
  2. If you can, use a system like Dropbox for sharing documents with your accountant or use an online accounting Self-Assessment tax system such as QuickBooks – There are many free ones out there also like Wave.
  3. Try to file your receipts as you go along, get a folder together for everything on a monthly basis. Again Dropbox could be used as you can create folders there and upload pdfs / invoices or even images off your mobile from receipt pictures etc – Just to help streamline the process.
  4. Try to keep as much in order as possible, including tracking your mileage etc – This will help speed up any time when looking to file your Self-Assessment tax.

Put these key dates listed below in your diary to avoid a penalty for missing your Self-Assessment tax return deadline:

• Register for Self-Assessment tax if you are Self-Employed or a sole trader, registering a partner or a partnership – 5th October.

• Paper Tax Returns – Midnight 31st October.

• Online Tax returns – Midnight 31st January.

• Pay the tax you owe – Midnight 31st January.

• Second Payment on Account – Midnight 31st July.

It is important to know that filing late or failing to pay the tax you owe on time, would probably mean you face penalties. If you miss the deadline, you will be fined £100.00, this applies even if you won’t owe any tax. It is also important not to leave things until the last minute, especially if you have queries.

Recent figures showed that HMRC’s telephone contact centres have experienced double the queue times, with waiting times increasing year on year. Their website also has recently had tendencies to crash, meaning tax payers are finding it increasingly difficult to contact HMRC in a timely fashion. On the deadline last year – literally down to the last minute – 555,000 Self-Assessment tax returns were filed!

But what if you can’t afford to pay this bill in full?

If you don’t think you are going to be able to make this payment, it is important to seek advice from external agents and to contact HMRC as a matter of urgency. The sooner you discuss options with them and get advice, the sooner you may be able to reach a payment instalment agreement. HMRC will consider ‘payment proposals’ but they are given on a concessionary basis and the process is not always straight forward.

HMRC has become more aggressive in it’s pursuit of unpaid tax bills and legal action is starting earlier and faster nowadays. It is vitally important to act quickly. Remember – If you don’t file your Self-Assessment tax, HMRC may estimate your bill which could cause a higher debt, with higher penalties being applied.

Don’t ignore it – Seek help. You are not on your own.

In some instances, self-employed people find they just cannot come to an arrangement with HMRC or they cannot meet the payment / re-payment time criteria HMRC are looking for and the bill escalates quickly – There is help out there.

Tax Debts Help and Advice is a company that has been set up to help those that cannot pay their tax bills in full and on time including Self-Assessment tax. With over two decades experience we have helped our clients come to acceptable, affordable solutions with HMRC.

If you would like to know more about A Time to Pay Arrangement, call our friendly team on 0800 448 0293 who will happily talk through everything you need to know about paying your tax bill in instalments. Alternatively, you can visit our website – – and start a live chat or email

Self-Assessment Issues

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Nearly 750,000 people missed the deadline to file their Self-Assessment tax return, running the risk of a £100.00 fine and more penalties being added.

HMRC said that 10.7 million people filed on time, but that 6.5% of those required to submit a Self-Assessment tax return failed to do so by the deadline.

Self-employed people who miss the Self-Assessment tax return deadline are theoretically liable for an automatic fine of £100.00, providing they file within three months of the deadline. Fines can be appealed but the excuse best not be ‘aliens’. We’ve seen some recent press articles that people have tried the weirdest excuses for late filing.

Shortly after the 2017 deadline, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group encouraged late filers to appeal their fine if they had a genuine excuse. However, Self-Assessment tax payers who do appeal should be aware that HMRC may ask for evidence to back up their claim.

How much could you be fined for missing the Self-Assessment tax return deadline?

• If you are up to thirty days late, you will be fined 5% of the total tax due.

• After three months, you will receive a £10.00 penalty for each further day overdue, up to a maximum of £900.00.

• At six months late, you will be charged another 5%, and again at 12 months late.

In 2015, the Revenue said it would concentrate it’s penalties on “those who persistently fail to complete their Self-Assessment tax return and deliberate evaders” and it’s keen to “differentiate between deliberate and persistent non-compliers and those who might make an occasional error”.

The government has also announced the planned introduction of a ‘points’ system, under which late filers will accrue points for infractions, similar to those added to driving licenses. When a points threshold has been reached, a fine will be given. It is thought that this system will be rolled out from 2019, beginning with VAT returns.

If you find you have a debt with Self-Assessment, we can help you get an affordable monthly payment agreed with HMRC – A Time to Pay Arrangement.

Tax Debts Help and Advice was set up specifically to help those who can’t pay their tax bills on time and in full. We have over two decades experience in this field and thrive on helping and supporting individuals and businesses who are struggling. We are an extremely understanding team and very approachable, call 0800 448 0293 to speak with us, or visit our website – and start a live chat. Alternatively, you can email us

Are you planning for the next HMRC payment deadline?

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Understanding your tax return deadline is key to surviving the world of filing on time and returns being submitted. Although your accountant will know and understand these deadlines, if you choose to deal with this by yourself you need to be aware of this. Heavy penalties can be applied when filing late or not filing at all and a small tax bill could escalate into a much bigger problem.

We all know that when it comes to tax bills and tax return deadline periods, our main concerns are how much, when do I need to pay and can I afford it. In answer to the first two questions – we have noted below the main HMRC tax return deadline periods for Self-Assessment, Payments on Account, VAT, Corporation Tax and PAYE.

Planning for such deadlines can be done with good record keeping and tight control over business costs in general. There are great, free or low cost software packages provided for self-employed people, that can help keep a tight control over your business cash flow. Have a search on Google and see what your choices are.

Unfortunately in some instances, the money that has been put to one side to pay upcoming tax bills, has had to be used to keep the business trading through difficult times – If you owe HMRC and are struggling to pay a tax bill in full and on time, we can help

31st January is the annual tax return deadline for the submission of your Self-Assessment returns and payment of any tax you owe for the previous tax year. The tax year usually commences on 6th April and ends on 5th April.

“If you choose to file a paper return, then the deadline is much earlier on 31st October”

If you are required to make Payments on Account, which are a way of spreading your tax bill throughout the year using advance payments, then you will have to make 2 payments over the year – one on 31st July and the other on 31st January.

VAT Tax Return Deadline.

VAT payments are made monthly, or for most businesses, quarterly. Your tax return deadline will depend on when you registered for VAT and when your accounting periods begin and end. So long as you file it online, you will normally have a full calendar month plus 7 days from the end of your accounting period to complete your VAT return and make your payment.

For example: If your current VAT period runs from May to July 2018 and you pay by Faster Payments, your next VAT deadline will be 7th September 2018. To find your exact VAT return and payment deadline, enter your accounting period and preferred payment method into HMRC’s VAT Deadline Calculator.

Corporation Tax Return Deadline.

Tax return deadline periods depend on a number of things in so far as Corporation Tax. If the companies taxable profits are less than£1.5 million, your Corporation Tax payment deadline will normally be 9 months and 1 day from the end of your accounting period.

This applies after the first year of trading as the tax return deadline for your first return can sometimes be slightly sooner. You will receive notification from HMRC when your Corporation Tax is due.

The end of your accounting period is normally the month end of the anniversary of your incorporation. The general rule for your Corporation Tax return deadline is that it should be filed with HMRC within 1 year of the end of the accounting period.

If you have made more than £1.5 million in profits, you will have to pay your Corporation Tax in instalments. Assuming your company has a 12 month accounting period, your instalment dates may be:

• 6 months and 13 days after the first day of your accounting period

• 3 months after your first instalment

• 3 months after your second instalment

• 3 months and 14 days after the last day of your accounting period.

PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance (NI).

If you employ staff, you generally pay your PAYE and Class 1 A National Insurance bill by the 22nd of the following tax month if you pay monthly. If you pay PAYE or NI quarterly, the deadline are:

For tax quarter ending:                   Funds to clear at HMRC by:

• 5th July                                            • 22nd July

• 5th October                                     • 22nd October

• 5th January                                     • 22nd January

• 5th April                                           • 22nd April

Here at Tax Debts Help and Advice, we specialise in helping those that owe HMRC and can’t pay the debts back in full and on time. We are set up solely to negotiate what has become known, the ‘mine field’ that is HMRC. If you would like to talk to a member of our friendly team, then call 0800 448 0293. Alternatively, you can start a live chat on our website or email

Payment on Account

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Payment on account due to HMRC?

Are you set for the deadlines 31st January and 31st July?

If you split your payment on account to HMRC, key deadlines can affect you, especially if you can’t afford to pay these liabilities, when they fall due.

Payments are made twice a year by Self-Employed people – 31st January and 31st July.

Payment on account is due to HMRC by most sole traders and the 31st July is looming, possibly one of the most dreaded days in a Self-Employed persons calendar.

These were originally designed as a way of helping those that are Self-Employed spread their tax bills. The problem is that for some people making their payment on account is often resulting in financial hardship, particularly for those already having difficulty making payments to HMRC.

As the payment on account is calculated by looking at your previous years tax bill, it can cause untold issues when your current income has fluctuated. Record keeping is a key element in maintaining your tax records and more importantly, it will help you keep an eye on upcoming bills – so you won’t receive any nasty surprises.

“So what’s next if you can’t make the payment on account to HMRC?”

If you don’t think you are going to be able to make your payment on account, or any tax due for that matter, it is important to seek advice from external agents and contact them as a matter of urgency. The sooner you discuss options with them the sooner you may be able to reach a Time to Pay Arrangement.

HMRC will consider ‘payment proposals’ but they are given as a concessionary basis and the process is not always straight forward. They have become more aggressive in their pursuit of unpaid tax bills and legal action is starting earlier and more quickly these days. It is important to act fast.

“Don’t ignore it – Seek help”

It is vital that you do not ignore a tax bill or your payment on account when it is due. Doing so will only make the problem worse, interest and penalties can apply and will start to mount up quickly.

In some instances, Self-Employed people find they just cannot come to an arrangement, or they cannot meet the payment terms and / or re-payment time criteria HMRC are looking for and the bill begins to escalate quickly. There is help out there, you are not on your own.

Tax Debts Help and Advice is a company that has been set up purposely to help those that cannot pay their tax bills in full an on time. With over two decades experience, we have helped our clients come to acceptable, affordable solutions with HMRC.

So if you are struggling with a tax bill or payment on account, then give our friendly team a call on 0800 448 0293. Alternatively, you can start a live chat on our website, fill in the contact from below or email

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