If you find yourself in the last days of January 2022 manically searching for receipts from 2020 and 2021 whilst still managing your clients and personal life – don’t panic. You are not alone. In fact, as many as 4 million self-employed customers are yet to submit their Self Assessment tax return and pay any tax owed ahead of the deadline on 31 January, according to HMRC.

Deadlines, extensions and penalties

The good news is that the deadline for tax returns has been extended. Hurrah! You now have until 28 February 2021 to file your (late) return! HMRC has waved penalties for one month, which means that:

  • anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file by 28 February

  • anyone who cannot pay their tax liabilities by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full or set up a time to pay arrangement by 1 April 2022.

But, don’t forget that the interest will still be payable from 1 February. So, pay on time if possible to avoid any costly surprises🙄.


Self Assessment timeline

Let’s have a look at the timeline:

  • 31 January – Self Assessment deadline for filing and payment
  • 1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills
  • 28 February – last date to file any late online tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement
  • 1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online

And make sure you include:

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Covid Job Retention Scheme
  • Other Covid grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

If you find filing a Self Assessment tax return stressful – I’m with you. But, as my friendly accountant reminded me,  tax returns can be amended within 12 months of the standard 31 January filing deadline. On that note, I’m off to file it now…