Taxes. They’re just one of life’s inevitabilities. For some people, it’s not something you have to give too much thought. But if you have to file your taxes yourself, it can be a roller coaster ride of paperwork and deadlines. It’s no secret that the Self-Assessment process can feel pretty overwhelming at times, especially if you’re going through it for the first time. But it doesn’t have to be like that! With knowledge, comes confidence, so we’ve put together a handy list of the most important dates you need to have in your diary to guide you through the tax year and get those tax returns in on time.
First thing’s first though…
Who needs to send a tax return?
You’ll need to send a tax return if you’re self employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1000 in the last tax year (running April 2018 - April 2019). You’ll also need to fill one in if you’re a partner in a business, for example if you run your own limited company.
There are also a few cases if your income is from PAYE wages or a pension. These include:
- If you make extra money from renting out a property
- If you have income from any savings or investments
- If you receive tips or commission
- If you also have foreign income
For more details on who needs to complete a Self-Assessment form, visit the HMRC website.
What tax dates should I have in my diary?
1. 5 October 2019: Register for Self-Assessment
If you’re eligible to fill in a Self-Assessment tax form (see our section above to see if this applies for you), this is the deadline that you’ll need to register by. Make sure you register on time, otherwise you could face a fine.
You can register and file your tax return here.
2. 31 October 2019: Deadline for Paper Self-Assessment Tax Return tax year 2018/2019
Those filling out a Self-Assessment tax return have two options: they can either submit their forms for the tax year running from 6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 by paper or through an online form via the HMRC website. However if you do decide to go down the analogue (paper) route, your Self-Assessment form needs to be returned by the 31st of October.
If you miss the deadline, don’t worry - the deadline for online submissions is still a couple of months away!
3. 31 January 2020: Deadline for Self-Assessment Tax Returns
Now it’s crunch time; your Self-Assessment form is due, and if you don’t submit it now it could mean that you get a fine, even if you have no tax to pay or have already paid what you owe. Because of this, it’s really important that you have a big red circle around this date in your calendar to help you remember to get those forms in.
The balance of your tax for the tax year 2018/2019 and your first payment on account will also be due. Find out more about payments on account here.
4. 5 April 2020: End of the personal tax year 2019/2020.
If you’re a PAYE worker, you might find a P60 with your payslip this month. Don’t panic or start cleaning out your desk - it’s not that form! Your P60 summarises how much tax you’ve paid during the year and shows contributions such as your National Insurance or student loan payments.
Your P60 is an important form, so hang on to it as you’ll need it if you want to reclaim any tax owed, need to apply for anything means tested (such as tax credits), or if you’re applying for a loan.
5. 6 April 2020: First day of the new personal tax year 2020/2021.
New financial year, new financial you? Maybe now's a good time to start implementing some good money habits - or a financial new year resolution!
6. 31 July 2020: Deadline for your second payment on account
Those under Self-Assessment will need to make the second payment on account for 2019/2020. Payments on account are advance payments towards your tax bill. This is the second of the two payments that you will make during the year, unless your last Self Assessment tax bill was less than £1,000 or if you’ve already paid more than 80% of the tax you owe.
If you still have tax to pay after your second payment on account, you’ll need to make a balancing payment on the 31 January next year. See date number 3 above for more information on this!
You can find out more about making your payment here.
While tax may seem complicated, breaking it down into bite sized pieces means that you can tackle your taxes one important date at a time!
At Yolt, we’re on a mission to empower you with your money, but our blog is not official financial or professional advice. If you're looking for more information on investing, pensions, or taxes and more, seek independent financial advice.