Do I Need to File a Tax Return This January?

Are you self-employed and seeing all the reminders about tax returns? Are you wondering whether you need to file a tax return by 31 January 2022? Then read on! In this guide, I’ll explain who needs to file a tax return in January and how to check whether you send one to HMRC.

** HMRC has announced an extension to the filing deadline for 2022 as COVID continues to cause disruption. Taxpayers now have until 28 February to file their tax return without facing penalties, although interest on any unpaid tax will apply from 1 February 2022 as normal.

Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.

1. Who Needs to File a Tax Return in January 2022?

You may need to file a tax return form (or SA100) this January if you have registered for self-assessment with HMRC. In other words, you’ve already completed the forms to register as self-employed and have received your UTR number.

If you haven’t registered as self-employed, then you won’t be set up with HMRC for tax returns so they won’t be expecting anything from you.

Wondering whether you need to register with HMRC? Then read this guide to find out when to register as self-employed.

2. When is Your First Tax Return Due?

When your first tax return is due depends on when you actually registered as self-employed. Tax returns due for filing in January related to the previous tax year. So tax returns due by 31 January 2022 will be required by those who registered their business between 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021.

Let’s say you registered on 1 January 2021, then you’ll need to fill in a return by 31 January 2022. However, if you registered on 16 Feb 2022, your first tax return is due by 31 January 2023.

When is Your First Tax Return Due?

3. How to Check if You Need to File a Tax Return

If you are registered as self-employed with HMRC, then the easiest way to check if you need to fill in a tax return is to log into your .GOV account. Once inside you’ll have a notification in the self-assessment section letting you know whether you have an outstanding tax return.

4. Will HMRC Tell Me to Fill In a Tax Return?

No, It’s up to you to decide whether you should register for self-assessment and file a tax return. That’s because it is impossible for HMRC to know everyone’s financial affairs, so they place the trust in us to declare any untaxed income that we receive (and to work out whether we should be telling them or not). That doesn’t mean you can skip filing a return. The tax-man has ways and means of finding out if you should be filing a tax return but you haven’t done so.


About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek and money nerd helping financial DIY-ers organise their money so they can hit their goals quicker.