Get your Self Assessment wrapped up in time for Christmas

Looking forward to that well-earned Christmas break? As you tick off the jobs ahead of the big day, don’t forget to think about your Self Assessment while you’re busy ordering the turkey and putting up the tree.

If you complete your tax return ahead of the 25th, you’ll be able to enjoy Christmas knowing that’s another task crossed off the to-do list.

Last year more than 2,800 customers chose to file their tax return on Christmas Day.

Avoid paying the penalty

Self Assessment customers need to complete their tax return and pay any tax owed by the 31 January 2023 deadline or risk having to pay a penalty. Those who file their return before 30 December may also have the option of paying any tax owed through their PAYE tax code.

Filing early means if customers owe money, they have plenty of time to explore which of the payment options available is best for them by visiting GOV.UK. Customers should include their bank account details so that if HMRC needs to repay them it can be done quickly and securely.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “We are encouraging customers to plan their Self Assessment as they’d plan for Christmas – get organised and complete their to-do list with plenty of time to avoid that last minute rush. Just search ‘self assessment’ on GOV.UK to make a start.”

The easiest and quickest way to complete a tax return is online through a Personal Tax Account where customers can start their return and go back to it as many times as they need before submitting it.

Use the free app

To make it even simpler, customers can now use the free and secure HMRC app to get their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), make Self Assessment payments and obtain their National Insurance number and employment history .

HMRC has a wide range of resources to help customers complete their tax return, including guidance, webinars and YouTube videos.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of scams as criminals use Self Assessment as an opportunity to commit fraud. Customers must never share their HMRC login details as criminals use them to steal or make a fraudulent claim. Customers should check HMRC’s scams advice on GOV.UK.

Those who are unable to pay their tax bill in full can access support and advice on GOV.UK. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan, known as Time to Pay. Customers should try to do this online: go to GOV.UK for more information. Alternatively, they can contact the helpline.

Genuine excuses only

HMRC will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses its penalties on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. Customers who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the 31 January deadline can avoid a penalty after this date.

If you are having financial concerns, talk to us for advice.