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Published on 17 January 2023

Only two weeks until 31 January Self Assessment deadline


The deadline for sending most online 2021/22 Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, and for paying the related tax, is 31 January 2023. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, HMRC allowed taxpayers more time to file their tax return and pay the tax before charging penalties for the previous two years. However, no relaxation on penalties is expected this year. You should therefore make sure you file your 2021/22 tax return online and pay any tax you owe by 31 January 2023 to avoid penalties and interest.

NEWS: Only two weeks until 31 January Self Assessment deadline. image of a man stood in front of a clock and a calendar showing date "31st"

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What are the tax return and tax payment deadlines?

Most Self Assessment tax returns for the 2021/22 tax year (the year to 5 April 2022) should be submitted online by 31 January 2023.

Paper returns for that year should have already been submitted by 31 October 2022.

⚠️ We are aware that HMRC have been issuing reminders to some individuals who have already filed their tax return for the year. If you receive one of these reminders and you think you have already submitted your return, we recommend you check HMRC have received it. You can do this by checking to see if you have received a submission confirmation email, or through your Personal Tax Account. Alternatively, you can contact HMRC.

Tax related to the 2021/22 tax return, if due, should also usually be paid by 31 January. This includes the first payment on account for 2022/23 if you need to pay one. Our guidance also explains about applying for a reduction to your payments on account.

Depending on when HMRC asked you to submit a 2021/22 tax return, you might have a different deadline to submit the return – see this table in our guidance.

However, the tax would still be payable by 31 January 2023 unless:

In this case, the tax would be due three months after HMRC asked you to submit a return.

Will there be any relaxation for filing 2021/22 returns and paying the tax?

Unlike in the previous two years, we do not expect HMRC to announce any relaxation regarding late filing and late payment penalties for the 2021/22 tax year.

You should therefore make sure you file your 2021/22 tax return online by 31 January 2023 and pay any tax you owe to avoid penalties and interest.
If you file late, then you also need to wait longer to consider that tax year ‘closed’ because HMRC will have longer to enquire into it. If, for example, you send your return to them on 15 February 2023, HMRC would have until 30 April 2024 to ask you questions about it.

I am missing some information. Can I still send HMRC my tax return?

When you send your tax return to HMRC you must declare that it is correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief.

However, if you have trouble getting some information, you can use provisional or estimated figures as long as you take reasonable care to get the return right.

Provisional figures are those which you intend to update once you have final information. You must declare you have used provisional figures on the tax return. The enquiry window is extended based upon when you give HMRC the final figure, but only for the figures that were provisional and then later confirmed or amended. You should also explain when you will be able to give the final figure.

Estimated figures should be used when you intend them to be final, for example where records have been lost and you think you will never be able to give HMRC exact figures. You should explain to HMRC why you have had to use an estimate and how you have worked out the figure.

We explain more in our tax basics section about taking reasonable care and using estimated or provisional figures.

You can pay your tax, or set up a time to pay arrangement, based on estimated or provisional figures. HMRC could charge you interest if submitting final figures means you have not paid enough tax.

What if I cannot submit my 2021/22 tax return by 31 January 2023?

You might have a problem which means you cannot submit your 2021/22 tax return online by 31 January 2023. In this situation, HMRC will usually charge you a penalty for submitting the return late.

However, if you have a reasonable excuse for not submitting by 31 January 2023, you might be able to appeal against the penalty. You must ensure that you submit the return as soon as possible after the excuse has ended.

What if I cannot pay my tax for 2021/22 by 31 January 2023? 

If you cannot pay the tax (including Class 2/4 NIC and student loan repayments) you owe under Self Assessment for 2021/22 by 31 January 2023, then in most cases HMRC will charge interest (currently at 6% a year) on outstanding amounts. The only exception is explained above.

If you think you will not be able to pay your tax bill by 2 March 2023, you should consider asking HMRC for a time-to-pay arrangement beforehand. By agreeing such a payment plan with HMRC in advance of 2 March 2023, you can avoid penalties (though interest will apply).

Class 2 NIC
Claims for certain state benefits can also be affected if you are self-employed and haven’t paid Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NIC) by 31 January. These include contributory (‘new style’) Employment and Support Allowance and Maternity Allowance. A benefits claim could be affected if you are paying late, even if you have made a time to pay arrangement with HMRC.

If you are affected by this, contact HMRC on 0300 200 3822 for help as soon as possible. They may be able to allocate any payments you make to pay the Class 2 NIC before other liabilities.

For 2021/22, you do not have to pay Class 2 NIC if you have profits below the small profits threshold of £6,515. You can, however, pay them voluntarily. If this applies to you, but you do not submit your 2021/22 tax return by 31 January 2023 or do not pay the contributions by that date, telephone HMRC for help on 0300 200 3500.

For more information, see What if I cannot pay my tax bill?.

How can I get help with my tax return?

We publish information on Self Assessment in our tax basics section, with further detail in our self-employment section. If you need help understanding how to complete your return, please refer to our tax guidance.

Our Getting Help section provides more information on how you can get help from HMRC with your tax, or from others such as friends and family, a paid tax agent, or – for those on low incomes – from the charities TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People.

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