Tips for getting on top of self assessment tax return deadline

Tax return

Whilst the 2018/19 tax year end may seem like a distant memory, the 31st January 2020 deadline for filing online Self Assessment tax returns is fast approaching.

Here is a handy checklist to help business partners, those who are self-employed and others with taxable income to prepare for the end of the month with the help of their accountants – and without breaking a sweat.

First time filing a return? Register. If this is your first time filing your tax return online, it’s vital you ensure that you have requested a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) if you don’t already have one, and activated your account using the code sent to you in the post. As it can take up to 10 working days to receive your code, it’s important to register today to avoid missing the 31st January deadline and having to pay a fee.

Pile up your paperwork. Before you or your accountant can submit your return, you’ll need various documents including your National Insurance number, a record of your untaxed income from the 2018/19 tax year, proof of any income you’ve been taxed on already such as your P60 or P45, details of any pension or charitable contributions made during the year, summaries of any benefits you’ve received from an employer (form P11d), and details of your expenses. Getting these in to your accountant as soon as possible will help you meet the deadline with time to spare.

Use every resource at hand. HMRC’s website includes a large amount of useful information on common queries. HMRC also publishes helpsheets for particular types of income and expenditure and these can come in handy – go to

All at sea? Approach your accountant. Whether you typically use an accountancy service for filing your tax return, or prefer to do it all yourself but are worried you may not have thought of everything, you’ll be able to relax far more easily knowing an experienced professional has your information in hand.

Jacquelyn Kimber, Tax Partner at Newby Castleman, says: “With so much room for errors, omissions and oversights on a tax return, it’s wise to get in touch with your accountant without delay to ensure you’re not risking penalties by missing any pre-deadline cut-off dates, or unknowingly submitting incomplete or incorrect information. This goes for experienced service users as well as brand new ones, as it’s all too easy to overlook something simple or a change in the rules – especially when you’re rushing to meet the end-of-January deadline.”