December deadline for Self Assessment registration approaching

HMRC have estimated that those filing returns online need to allow for up to six weeks processing time before 31st January in order to have their registration accepted.

This means that all freelancers will need to have notified HMRC by the 20th December, at the latest, or face a potential fine for failing to file on time.

Do I need to register?

Firstly, just to clarify – If you’re not taxed at source on PAYE by an employer, then you need to complete a Self Assessment for your income! This means all freelancers and contractors must file.

If you’ve registered before and haven’t changed your employment status, then don’t worry – HMRC will remember and you’ll just need to make sure you file on time.

How to register

To complete your Self Assessment online, you first need to register with HMRC to tell them you need to submit a tax return. You can learn about the registration process here. You can register either online, by phone or by post (by completing form SA1 – PDF download here – and sending it to your local tax office). To register you will need:

  • Your National Insurance Number

  • Your personal details and those of your business

When you’ve registered you will be issued with a Unique Taxpayer Reference Number (UTR) which you then use to complete your Self Assessment. Don’t forget there are hefty fines in place for freelancers who fail to file by 31st January, so don’t delay!