“HMRC: You need to complete your tax return online and pay any tax owed by 31 January to avoid a penalty.” This is not a scam. And not something you want to be ignoring either. “Tax”, “pay” and “penalties” can be pretty scary sounding words and ignite a feeling of dread and fear of the unknown for a lot of us; but they are just words and ensuring we have some basic steps in place, tax return time doesn’t need to be as scary as it sounds.
It is cutting it fine for the 31 January 2023 deadline for submitting your tax return and paying the bill (for tax year 2021/22), but there is still time to do something about it and (plenty) of time to put some steps in place for January 2024.
The best piece of advice we can give you? Do not ignore it. The quicker you find out if you need to complete a tax return and pay the quicker you can do something about it (even if you can’t pay right now).
If you or someone you care about is worried about being able to pay their tax, then please contact us email@example.com – we cannot provide any tax advice, but we can provide a listening ear and free confidential guidance, we can also get in touch with HMRC on your behalf to let them know your situation whilst we work with you to work out a way forward.
With this amount of time left before the deadline, what should you be doing?
First of all, do not panic! Think of it as 1, 2, 3 – 1) check if you need to do a return, 2) register for a Gateway Account and 3) submit your return.
Do I need to submit a tax return?
You need to complete a tax return if:-
- you were self-employed as a “sole trader” and earned more than £1,000 (before taking off anything you can tax relief on)
- you were a partner in a business partnership
- you earned £100,000 or more
- those claiming Child Benefit but they or their partner have an income above £50,000
You might also need to send a tax return if you any untaxed income such as:-
- some COVID-19 grant or support payments
- money from renting out a property
- tips and commission
- income from savings, investments and dividends
- foreign income
What do you need to set up a Gateway Account?
If you think you need to complete a tax return and have not already done that, the first step is to set up a Gateway Account, you can do that via this link .
You need to prove your identity to register for Government Gateway if you have not used it before and you’ll need:
- your National Insurance number or postcode and 2 of the following:-
- a valid UK passport
- a UK photocard driving licence issued by the DVLA (or DVA in Northern Ireland)
- a payslip from the last 3 months or a P60 from your employer for the last tax year
- details of a tax credit claim if you made one
- details from a Self Assessment tax return if you made one
- information held on your credit record if you have one (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
Some helpful websites for you and your tax return.
You can check if you need to complete a tax return here. And if you do, then you can set up a Gateway Account here (you will need a Gateway account for Self Assessment, VAT, or any other HMRC service)
You can get help from HMRC to fill in your tax return and if you cannot pay, contact HMRC to arrange a payment plan or contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a non-judgemental listening ear or free and confidential guidance* and help working out a way forward.
*we cannot provide tax advice.
It’s important that you submit a tax return even if you don’t think you can pay! And it’s important you contact HMRC as soon as possible if you think you can’t pay by the January deadline.
What happens if I cannot pay?
If you cannot pay, it is important to let HMRC know as soon as possible. If you have to submit a tax return, then do that by the 31st of January deadline. This shows HMRC that you are following the correct process! Once you know how much tax is due, it is important to communicate your situation with them that you cannot pay – you can do that yourself here or email the Ditch Debt with Dignity team at email@example.com and we can help you do that and work out a plan going forward.
How do I make January 2024 a better tax-place?
If you need to submit a tax return, you can do that any time from 6th April 2023. If you do that, then you have until the following January to work out a payment plan. Top tip: submit your tax return as soon as possible after 6th April to give yourself plenty of notice and planning time!
How you pay your tax due is dependent on if you are employed or self-employed – so please check with HMRC first before you do anything else – from there remember the 1, 2, 3 plan; 1) check if you need to do a return, 2) register for a Gateway Account and 3) submit your return.
The more time you give yourself to plan, the easier this time of year will be! And if you or someone you care about is worried about being able to pay their tax or any debt, then please contact us or firstname.lastname@example.org – we cannot provide any tax or financial advice, but we can provide a listening ear and free confidential guidance, we can also get in touch with HMRC on your behalf to let them know your situation whilst we work with you to work out a way forward.
All links shared in this blog are correct at time of publishing (26 January 2022) and Ditch Debt with Dignity does not accept any responsibility for sharing information that may be incorrect at the time of reading. Anyone concerned about their tax position should seek professional advice.