Time is ticking away - 100 days left to file your 2017 to 2018 tax return

26 October 2018

More than 11 million customers completed a 2016 to 2017 Self Assessment tax return, of those only 10.7 million completed them on time and a total of 4,852,744 customers filed in January 2018 (44.8% of the total), 758,707 filing on the deadline day of 31 January.

HMRC are encouraging Self-Assessment customers who have a tax return to ‘take away the stress from around the holiday period’ by completing their 2017-2018 tax return in advance which will reveal how much tax they need to pay by the deadline.

Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Last year, more than 11 million taxpayers completed their Self Assessment tax returns, collectively bringing in a record £32.7 billion in revenue. Revenue that has gone on to fund our vital public services.

“Self-employed workers and small businesses make up a significant proportion of our Self Assessment tax returns and the government is committed to supporting them and reducing the administrative burden they may face. The Personal Tax Account, for example, allows you to file your return and manage your tax affairs online, quickly and simply, whenever you want.”

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“The deadline for completing Self Assessment tax returns may be 100 days away, yet many of us wait until January to start the process. Time flies once the festive period is underway, yet the ‘niggle’ to file your tax return remains.

“We want to help people get their tax returns right – starting the process early and giving yourself time to gather all the information you need will help avoid the last minute, stressful rush to complete it on time. Let’s beat that niggle.”

Tax is automatically deducted from the majority of UK taxpayers’ pay, pensions or savings. For people or businesses where tax is not automatically deducted, or when they may have earned additional untaxed income, they are required to complete a Self-Assessment tax return each year.

Last year, a record 93% of customers did their return online and HMRC provides support for people who need to do their tax return. There are films and webinars which show each stage of the process, with customised guidance to serve differing needs.

Help is also available on the Self-Assessment section on GOV.UK or from the Self-Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.

The deadline for paper tax returns is 31 October 2018, and the deadline for online tax returns and paying any tax owed is 31 January 2019.

Late submissions can lead to a minimum penalty £100.

Each year also sees some imaginative excuses being attempted for late filing (none of which were accepted):

  •  I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house.
  • I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play.
  • My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it.
  • My business doesn’t really do anything.
  • I spilt coffee on it.