Self Assessment: HMRC recommends completing online returns ahead of the deadline

Self Assessment individuals have 97 days left to complete their tax returns online before the deadline, but HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recommends completing it as early as possible.

Individuals can complete their tax returns at any time before the deadline on 31 January 2021. Although, HMRC suggests that completing the online returns earlier will be more convenient as it will allow people to set up any payment plans and gives them time to pay their tax due.

Most individuals complete their tax returns online, as it displays an immediate calculation of tax owed. However, those who fill out paper tax returns will have to send their forms to HMRC by 31 October 2020.

Individuals must complete a Self Assessment return if the following statements apply to them:

  • They have earned more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, such as from commission or tips.
  • They are a self-employed individual trader whose annual turnover is over £1,000.
  • They have an annual income of more than £100,000.
  • They have received more than £2,500 from renting a property.
  • They earned income while abroad, which is subject to tax.
  • They are an employee requiring expenses over £2,500.
  • They or their partner has received Child Benefits, and either of them has an annual income of over £50,000.

After completing their tax return and calculating the tax owed, individuals can set up payment plans by using Time to Pay, a self-service facility, to spread the charge of their tax liabilities. To be eligible to use the payment plans, their tax value needs to be £30,000 or less.

Any individuals who utilise Time to Pay will have to pay interest on the tax owed, which will be applied to any remaining balance from 1 February 2021.

If an individual needs longer than 12 months to pay debts in full or has bills over £30,000, any Time to Pay arrangements will need to be discussed with HMRC first by calling the Self Assessment helpline (0300 200 3822).

We advise all individuals to be vigilant, especially during this time, of HMRC copycat websites and phishing scams via the phone or email. Check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise legitimate HMRC contact, and always type in the full address: