If you are self-employed, rent out a property or earn income from savings, investments and dividends, you need to fill in a tax return.
The deadline for the 2018/2019 return is 31 January 2020. But with less than a month to go, over five million of us have yet to complete our forms, according to HMRC, even though a record 3,003 of us spent Christmas Day doing so.
You’ll need to file your return online by the end of the month to avoid a penalty. If it is your first time filing online, you’ll need to register at gov.uk. It takes up to ten working days for HMRC to send you the reference and activation code you’ll need to log in, so register soon.
Gather all your receipts before you start. “If you need receipts to make an expense claim, you may still be able to use other evidence such as bank or credit-card statements if it turns out that you’ve lost the physical receipt,” notes Danielle Richardson in Which.
Miss the deadline by up to three months and you’ll face a £100 penalty. If you still haven’t filed by 30 April, you’ll face an extra £10 a day penalty up to a maximum £900. Once you’ve filed don’t forget to pay the resulting bill. This is due on 31 January too.