Missing HMRC deadlines can result in penalties. So if you are self-employed here are all the tax dates and payment deadlines you need to add to your diary.
Deadline for Registering for Self-Assessment
If you haven’t registered with HMRC as self-employed, then you’ll need to do so by 5 October following the end of the tax year you started working for yourself.
A tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April each year.
So if you started working for yourself on 1 January 2020 you’ll need to register as self-employed by 5 October 2020.
If you aren’t sure whether you need to register then use this list to help you decide.
Self-Assessment Tax Return Deadline
The self-assessment tax return deadline is the 31 January each year. By this date you’ll need to have filled out your tax return online declaring your income for the previous tax year.
So the tax return due by 31 January 2021 will cover all your income for the tax year 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020.
Most people must complete their tax return online, however there are a small number of exceptions where HMRC will accept a paper version. In this case paper tax returns need to be filed by 31 October.
If you are employed and owe less than £3,000 in tax, then you can arrange for any tax you owe to be collected by your employer who will then pay it to HMRC on your behalf. If you want to arrange this, you’ll need to file you tax return by 30 December. HMRC will then contact your employer with a change of tax code.
Tax Payment Deadlines
You’ll need to pay any tax you owe by the 31 January each year, along with filing your tax return.
But you are also required to make an advance payment to your following years tax bill on the 31 January and 31 July each year.
You’ll pay 50% of your January tax bill each time and then adjust for what you have paid when you file your tax return.
This can hit newly self-employed people hard because they need to pay more tax the first time they file their tax return.
Summary of the Tax Return and Payment Deadlines
- 31 January 2020: Self-assessment tax return for 2018/2019 due for filing,
1st payment on account for 2019/2020 and
the balance of any tax, national insurance and student loans for 2018/2020 due for payment.
- 5 April 2020: End of the 2019/2020 tax year
- 31 July 2020: 2nd Payment on Account for 2019/2020 due for payment
- 5 October 2020: Deadline to register as self-employed with HMRC
- 31 October 2020: Deadline for filing paper self-assessment tax return
- 30 December 2020: Deadline for filing a self-assessment tax return if you want any tax collected through PAYE (max £3,000)
- 31 January 2021: Self-assessment tax return for 2019/2020 due for filing, 1st payment on account for 2020/2021 and the balance of any tax, national insurance and student loans for 2020/2021 due for payment.
New Here? These are my most popular resources:
- The Ultimate Bookkeeping Spreadsheet – Organise your money, track the numbers that matter and stay on top of your cash;
- FREE Guide: 11 Common Small Business Setup and Tax Mistakes – Are you worried your business isn’t set up correctly? Use this guide to identify whether you’re making the 11 most common financial pitfalls I’ve seen when it comes to setting up a business and taxes, as well as finding out how you can put them right;
- Sole Trader or Limited Company? – Download my free calculator to check which business structure would help you to pay less tax;
- FREE Business Expenses Cheatsheet – Check what you can and can’t claim as an expense against your taxes.
- 6 Core Elements of Self-Employment Taxes – Confused by taxes? Worried you’re missing something when it comes to tax allowances and reliefs? These easy to follow 6 mini-guides will have you on top of the tax side of things in no time at all.