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Ready, steady, file: 100 days left to Self Assess

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding Self Assessment customers that there are just 100 days left to complete their tax return ahead of the deadline on 31 January 2021.

Each year, around 11 million customers complete a Self Assessment tax return. Customers can complete their 2019-20 tax return at any time up to the deadline but HMRC recommends completing it early to allow customers time to pay their tax bill or set up a payment plan. The majority of Self Assessment customers choose to complete their tax return online, which provides an immediate calculation of any tax owed.

Customers completing a paper tax return have until 31 October 2020 to send their completed form to HMRC.

Customers must complete a Self Assessment return if:

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

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.”

Once Self Assessment customers have completed their 2019-20 tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000. They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits and this can all be done online so there is no need to phone HMRC.

Customers can visit GOV.UK to find out more about the service and if they are eligible, https://www.gov.uk/pay-self-assessment-tax-bill/pay-in-instalments.

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. Always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for filing your Self Assessment return online securely and free of charge. And be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax. It might be a scam. Check GOV.UK for information on how to a recognise genuine HMRC contact.


  1. The deadline to complete online Self Assessment tax returns for 2019-20 is 31 January 2021. Paper returns must be sent to HMRC by 31 October 2020.
  2. If you are completing a tax return for the first time, you will need to register for Self Assessment: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return
  3. If your Self Assessment debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to pay your debt in full, you may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.
  4. Customers using self-serve Time to Pay will be required to pay any interest on the tax owed. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.
  5. Limited Company Directors who are currently in Self Assessment but no longer meet any other criteria to remain in scope, can either:
  • Complete their tax return by the deadline. HMRC will update their record and they won’t be issued a notice to file for the following year.
  • If the customer no longer satisfies the criteria for this year, they can call HMRC who can agree to withdraw the notice.
  1. From 6 April 2020 the process for Capital Gains Tax on UK residential property sold since 6 April 2020 has changed. It must now be declared and paid within 30 days of completion. This only applies where the property in question is not the seller’s main home. Information about how to report and pay Capital Gains Tax  is available on GOV.UK
  2. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
  3. HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk

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