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100 days left to file your online tax return

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With 100 days to go before the 31 January deadline, HMRC is reminding people to complete their online tax returns to beat the usual Christmas and New Year rush.

Around 11 million people complete a self-assessment tax return each year but five million were still outstanding at the start of January 2020.

And nearly one million missed the 31 January 2020 deadline, meaning they received an automatic £100 fine.

While there are still 100 days to go until the online deadline (paper tax returns need to be filed by 31 October), HMRC is urging people to complete their 2019/20 tax return ahead of the peak period over Christmas and New Year.

And don’t forget, if you’re filing your self-assessment tax return for the first time, you need to register which can take some time, so factor that in too.

Do you need to complete a tax return?

You’ll need to complete a Self-assessment return if you:

  • have earned more than £2,500 from renting out property
  • have received, or partner has received, Child Benefit and either had an annual income of more than £50,000
  • have received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
  • are a self-employed sole trader whose annual turnover is over £1,000
  • are an employee claiming expenses in excess of £2,500
  • have an annual income of over £100,000
  • have earned income from abroad that they need to pay tax on.

Once a Self-assessment has been completed and people know how much tax is owed, a payment plan can be set up to help spread the cost of tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000. The Time to Pay arrangement can be set up by calling the Self-assessment payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

However, Time to Pay will accrue interest on the tax owed. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

HMRC’s interim director general of customer services, Karl Khan, said: “The vast majority of Self-assessment customers complete their tax return by the 31 January deadline, but you don’t need to wait until January; you can send it back now and get it out of the way.

“HMRC is determined to help customers during this difficult time. We know many customers will have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or will need help to spread the cost of their tax bill. That’s why we’ve made it quick and simple to set up a payment plan to spread the costs and help people get back on their feet. It’s easy to do online and there’s no need to call us to set it up.”

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