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Self Assessment Reporting and Payment Deadlines

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 16 Feb 2011 | comments*Discuss
Hmrc Filing Reporting Payment Deadlines

As a self-employed person you have a range of tax responsibilities. There are numerous deadlines during the year, for both reporting and payment, to which you must adhere. These deadlines can be confusing. But it is vital that you understand what you need to do, and when, in order to fulfil your legal obligations and avoid potential penalties.


To begin with, it is important that you understand the deadlines for registration. You are legally obliged to register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs within three months of the end of your first month of self-employment. If you fail to do so, you may be fined.

Registering as self-employed is very easy. You can do it by calling the HMRC Newly Self-Employed Helpline on 0845 915 4515. Alternatively, you can register online.


Once you are registered, you will have a range of reporting deadlines throughout the year. The date by which you must submit your annual Self Assessment tax return will depend on the format you use. If you choose to submit online, you will get a little longer than if you submit by post.

Paper tax returns must be received by HM Revenue and Customs by midnight on 31 October. The only exception to this is cases in which you receive your notice to file after 31 July. If this happens, you will have to file your return within three months of receiving the notice.

If you want to file online, you must ensure that your return reaches HMRC by midnight on 31 January. Remember, though, that you will need a username and password in order to access the online services, and these can take up to a week to arrive. You should make sure you leave enough time for these to turn up.

Finally, if you want to file online but you owe less than £2,000, and you want HMRC to collect this money through your tax code, your return must reach HMRC by 30 December.


Having filed your return, you will then have to pay your tax. There are several payment deadlines during the year, and you will have to meet some or all of them.

The main deadline is 31 January. On this date you will have to make your balancing payment – that is, the payment to cover any outstanding tax for the previous tax year. On 31 January you will also have to make your first payment on account. The payments on account are two payments made during the year against your next tax bill. They are each normally equal to half your tax bill for the previous tax year.

On 31 July the second payment on account will be due. This will normally be equal to your first payment on account.

If you miss any of the payment deadlines, interest will be charged on the outstanding balance. If you cannot pay your tax bill, it is vital that you contact HM Revenue and Customs immediately in order to arrange a solution.

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