96 days left to submit your 2017/18 tax return

HMRC is urging people to complete their tax return
HMRC is urging people to complete their tax return

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging people to complete their 2017/18 Self Assessment tax return to avoid the last-minute festive rush.

Taxpayers can complete their Self Assessment for the previous tax year from as early as April 6, however, many choose to wait until after Christmas to fill it in, a spokesman said.

Last year, more than 11million customers completed a 2016/17 Self Assessment tax return, with 10.7million completing on time.

There were 4,852,744 customers who filed in January 2018 (44.8 per cent of the total), and 758,707 on January 31.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “Last year, more than 11million 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, added: “The deadline for completing Self Assessment tax returns may be 96 days away, yet, for many of us, we 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’ wages, 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 per cent of customers did their return online and HMRC provides lots of support for people who need to do their tax return, a spokesman said.

There are films and webinars which show each stage of the process, with special guidance for different types of individuals.

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

The deadline for paper tax returns is October 31, and the deadline for online tax returns and paying any tax owed is January 31, 2019. If customers miss the deadline, they can face a minimum £100 penalty for late submissions.

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