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Self-Assessment Tax Returns: Criteria, Deadlines, and Avoiding HMRC Penalties



Who Needs to File a Self-Assessment Tax Return?


In the recent tax year, running from 6th April to 5th April, consider submitting a self-assessment tax return to HMRC if:

  • You were a sole trader, earning above £1,000 before accounting for tax reliefs.

  • You took part in a business partnership.

  • Your total taxable income exceeded £100,000.

  • You were subject to the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

Other circumstances that might necessitate a tax return include:

  • Receiving specific COVID-19 grants or support payments.

  • Earning untaxed income, such as rental income, tips, commissions, savings, investments, and dividends.

  • Having foreign income​

If you're uncertain about whether you need to submit a self-assessment tax return, HMRC offers a handy online tool to assist. By answering a few straightforward questions about your financial circumstances, you can quickly determine if you're required to complete a return for the tax year.



It's always a good practice to verify your obligations before the tax season begins. By using this tool, you can ensure compliance and avoid any potential penalties associated with late or missed submissions.


Key Deadlines to Keep in Mind


For UK subcontractors invoicing CIS-registered contractors:

  • 5 October: Inform HMRC if you're filing a tax return for the first time.

  • 31 October 2023: Deadline for paper tax returns.

  • 31 January 2024: Due date for online tax returns and for paying any tax you owe.

For those making advance payments towards their tax bill, a second payment deadline falls on 31 July.

Special cases:

  • If you wish for HMRC to auto-collect owed tax from your wages and pension, ensure online return submission by 30 December.

  • Trustees of registered pension schemes or non-resident companies must submit paper tax returns by 31 January, without the option for online submission.

Understanding Penalties: Late or Inaccurate Self-Assessment Tax Returns


It's imperative to submit your self-assessment tax return with utmost accuracy and within the stipulated time frame. Failing to do so might invite penalties from HMRC, which can significantly increase your tax liability.:


Late Submission Penalties

  1. 1 day overdue: You'll incur a penalty of £100.

  2. 3 months overdue: The penalty is £10 per day for up to 90 days, amounting to a maximum of £900.

  3. 6 months overdue: An additional penalty of either 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever amount is higher.

  4. 12 months overdue: Yet another penalty of the greater amount between 5% of the tax due or £300.

Late Payment Penalties:

  1. 30 days overdue: A penalty of 5% of the outstanding tax amount.

  2. 6 months overdue: Another penalty of 5% of the tax due at that point.

  3. 12 months overdue: An additional penalty of 5% of the outstanding tax.

Penalties for Inaccuracies:


HMRC employs a behaviour-based penalty system, gauging whether inaccuracies were unintentional or intentional:


  • Unintentional Errors: Penalties range between 0% and 30% of the additional tax due.

  • Intentional Errors: These invite penalties between 20% and 70% of the extra tax owed.

  • Intentional and Concealed Errors: The harshest penalties fall here, ranging between 30% and 100% of the extra tax due.


While it's possible to appeal against these penalties, the process can be lengthy, and success isn't guaranteed. To save yourself from this hassle and potential financial strain, always aim to submit a prompt and accurate self-assessment tax return.


Need Expert Assistance?


Ready to streamline your self-assessment tax return process? Let Omnia Accounting be your trusted partner in navigating the intricacies of tax compliance. Our expert team is dedicated to providing you with personalized tax strategies that ensure accuracy and peace of mind. Connect with us for a free consultation and take the first step towards hassle-free tax management today.


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