What dates should be in your diary if you are self-employed?

31st Jan 20

Make sure you add the UK tax deadline 2020 dates to your diary!

Missing certain dates in the financial year can be expensive for the self-employed!  Fines are likely to be issued by HMRC pretty promptly so make sure you avoid causing yourself unnecessary expense and problems, by popping these key dates into your diary today. 

31 January 2020

The deadline for getting all your online tax return to HMRC is midnight on this day.  Your return will be for the 2018-2019 tax year. 

This date is also the day you will need to have paid your tax bill by, and those who are self-employed will need to make their first payment for their 2019-2020 tax year. 

6 April 2020

The 6 April is the first day of the new tax year.  This is the day that any new tax rates or new regulations announced in this year’s Chancellor’s budget on 30 March, will come into play.

This is also the date after which you can file your 2019-2020 tax return.

31 July 2020

For those who are self-employed, pop this date into your diary as it is the day the second self-assessment tax payment will be due. 

5 October 2020

This date is the deadline for registering for self-assessment.  If you become self-employed and are now in your second year of business, so will look to submit a self-assessment tax return for 2019-2020, you will need to have registered by 5 October.

31 October 2020

Should you choose to submit a paper tax return, this date is HMRC’s deadline for submitting these returns. If you miss the deadline, you can always submit your returns online instead as they are not due until 31 January.

Penalties for late returns

You could face penalties for late returns

If you are just a day after the deadline for paying your tax, you could face a charge of £100.  If you chose to wait three months until after the payment deadline, you could be landed with a fine of up to £1,000.

If you are six months late with your tax payment, you could face an extra £300 fine on top of the earlier fines noted above, or alternatively five percent of your tax bill – whichever is the greater amount. 

In the most serious cases, people have been fined 100 per cent of the tax they owe on top of their original bill.  Something you really want to avoid!

How to submit your tax return

If you have never submitted a tax return before, you should register with HMRC.  Once done, there are two ways you can submit your tax return.  You can choose to submit it online or on paper. 

Online tax returns can be advantageous, as they come with later deadlines and you can amend any mistakes quickly and easily.  Once you have registered with HMRC, you can go back to a tax return you have started and saved, check it and review the information you have loaded, submit it and print out your tax calculations.  This is done simply via the HMRC website.

If you choose paper, you will have to fill out tax return forms by hand and post them to HMRC

Remember that you’ll need to register for self-assessment again if you’ve sent a tax return in the past, but you did not have to send one last year.

At AccountAbility-Plus, we find difficulties arise for self-employed people when they are not sure what they can or cannot claim as a legitimate business expense, or have more complex arrangements, such as being self-employed for one business and a director of a different company. 

For those who run businesses where they are not office-based, such as tradespeople or those in property management, keeping records and managing their accounts can be difficult.  Often we find our clients just find that accounts and book-keeping are really not their strongest skill, or are not a good use of their time, so we are here to help make sure you meet these deadlines, file correctly and ensure you keep on top of your business cash flow, invoicing, credit control and book-keeping.   

We may even suggest you change your business to a limited company – in fact, we are here to offer advice and support to make sure your business not only survives but thrives!