In recent years, there has been an increasing number of ‘early-bird’ customers filing their completed Self-Assessment tax returns at the start of the new tax year – almost 30,000 more customers filed their returns on 6 April this year, compared to 2018 – and HMRC is encouraging others to change their filing habits and do it as soon as they can.
Customers have been able to file their 2021 to 2022 Self Assessment tax return since 6 April. And while many wait until nearer the annual filing deadline on 31 January, for some it is an opportunity to beat the last-minute rush and get it done as soon as they can, while they have the relevant information to hand.
Customers can file their tax return online. It is the quickest way to complete a Self-Assessment return and it does not need to be finished in one go, as customers can access their return online anytime and save their progress until it is completed and ready to submit.
Customers who file their tax return early could benefit from:
- receiving a tax refund on any overpaid tax from the 2021 to 2022 tax year sooner. Once a customer has filed their tax return, they can check if a repayment is due via their Personal Tax Account
- managing their tax bill via direct debit. Customers can use the Budget Payment Plan service to set up weekly or monthly direct debit payments to spread the cost of any tax owed.
The Self-Assessment tax payment deadline for balancing payments remains unchanged – 31 January 2023 Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “You don’t need to wait for the January rush to send us your tax return. More and more people are getting theirs out of the way early – search ‘Self-Assessment’ on GOV.UK to get started.”
HMRC has updated the Self-Assessment guide to help customers navigate through the tax return process. It includes helpful information on:
- how to get help with your tax return
- what to do when declaring furlough payments, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants or other COVID-19 support measures
- what information you need before you can start completing your tax return
- help with paying your Self-Assessment tax bill
- what to do if you have overpaid tax and are due a refund
Earnings and payments received during the pandemic will need to be reported on the tax return meaning customers must declare any grants or payments from the COVID-19 support schemes received between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2022 as these are taxable, including:
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- other COVID-19 grants and support payments
- any coronavirus payments incorrectly claimed
The Self-Assessment deadline to file a return and pay any tax owed for the 2021 to 2022 tax year is 31 January 2023.