Putting off your self-assessment tax? Keep calm there’s still time to file but you need to act now

Emma Chadwick | 14th January 2020

It’s that time of year where freelancers and others who must file their self-assessment are girding loins and trying not to make eye-contact with their HRMC remainder, but get a grip it’s not too late to avoid a fine and it needn’t be as painful as you think.


In the UK, the Professional Contractors Group estimates that:

  • There are 1.4 million British freelancers working across all sectors
  • This has grown 14% in the past decade
  • The flexibility offered by Britain’s freelancers is worth £21 billion to the UK economy in added value


So basically, more of us are in the same boat and giving vital income to the country. Filing your self-assessment needn’t be bad news either, as Viva is smug, having filed and is due a tax rebate (come on).


But if you’re one of the many who leave it to the last minute and then find you can’t get through to the helpline or understand what the heck you can actually claim (and even what year it’s about) here’s four key facts you need to know from Mike Parkes at GoSimpleTax:


  1. Deadlines – you’ve missed the October deadline for a paper submission, so your only option if you want to avoid a fine is to submit online and that deadline is January 31, 2020, for the upcoming online return


  1. You’ve got 10 days from now and before January 31 (and if it’s after midnight, like Cinderella there’s a penalty) to set up Government Gateway which means you can file online. To get one you need a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – a 10-digit number. The Government Gateway account will enable you to submit your return but can take 10 days to arrive. So, if you haven’t got one, get cracking


  1. Don’t panic if you don’t set up a Government Gateway in time – if you have your UTR GoSimpleTax can file it direct to HRMC so you don’t necessarily need it but there is a fee


  1. Remember the tax you’re paying for is in arears, so it is for April to April, 2018-2019 that this deadline is for


You can find out more about Mike and the team by visiting https://www.gosimpletax.com/