Deadline for Tax Return Approaching: Stay Informed and Avoid Penalties!

Jan 8, 2024

Updated on: Feb 6, 2024

With the New Year celebrations now behind us, its time to start thinking about filing your personal tax return for the 2022/23 tax year. For those of you who have already done this, well done!! For those of you to plan of putting this off until 11:30pm on 31 January 2024 we say good luck!

Regardless of where you are at, if the HMRC are expecting a personal tax return from you for the 2022/23 tax year, here is everything you need to know.

For UK taxpayers, the deadline for tax return submission is clear: paper returns are due by 31 October, and online returns by 31 January. Missing these dates can lead to penalties. Our guide explains the deadlines, the repercussions of missing them, and offers tips for a hassle-free submission process.

Key Takeaways

  • The deadline for paper tax returns in the UK is 31 October, while online tax returns can be submitted until 31 January of the subsequent tax year, with strict adherence necessary to avoid penalties.
  • Self-employed individuals must register for self-assessment by 5 October, and if applicable, for Capital Gains Tax, to submit self-assessment tax returns and pay any due taxes.
  • Late submission of tax returns incurs a minimum fine of £100 and can lead to additional penalties, interest charges, and even court enforcement for non-payment, while accurate and timely filing can be facilitated by the use of tax software and professional advice.

Key Deadlines for Submitting Tax Returns

A cat pokes his head up inside a drawer while its owner looks for receipts for their personal tax return

Staying ahead of your tax obligations begins with familiarizing yourself with key dates for submitting tax returns. Whether you’re self-employed or filing a self-assessment tax return for other reasons, knowing the deadlines helps you avoid late filing penalties and interest charges.

In the UK, the UK tax year spans from 6 April to 5 April of the subsequent year, and there are distinct deadlines for paper and online tax returns. For the most recent tax year, the end of the tax year is 05 April 2023.

Paper Tax Return Deadline

Should you choose to file a paper tax return, it’s useful to remember the deadline of 31 October. However, exceptions do exist. If you receive a notice to file a tax return after 31 July, you have three months from the date on the notice to submit your paper tax returns.

Online Tax Return Deadline

Completing your tax return online allows you until 31 January of the subsequent tax year. This extended deadline is one of the advantages of online submission. But bear in mind, late payment or submission will incur interest charges and penalties, so make sure you don’t miss the deadline.

Registering for Self-Assessment

Two people staring at a mountain in the distance having just filed their personal tax returns online before 31 January.

Registration for self-assessment, which is due by 5 October, is a prerequisite for submitting your self assessment tax returns. This applies even if you’ve never submitted a tax return before. Hence, it’s beneficial to register well before the self assessment deadline to avoid any last-minute issues.

Attention must also be paid to the Capital Gains Tax. If you’ve sold or disposed of assets and made a profit, you need to register for Capital Gains Tax by 5 October as well.

Payments on Account: First and Second Installments

Having just completed his personal tax return online, it was time to Jamie to body board some waves at sunset

‘Payments on Account’ refer to advanced payments towards your tax liability. These payments, essentially paying tax in advance, are required twice a year if your previous Self Assessment tax bill exceeded £1,000.

The first payment is due on 31 January, and the second is due on 31 July. These payments are calculated based on your previous year’s tax bill, with each payment being 50% of that bill.

If you find these deadlines hard to remember, consider setting up reminders in your calendar or using a tax app that sends deadline reminders.

Consequences of Late Submission and Payment

Even a single day’s delay in submitting your tax return can be financially taxing. A one-day delay results in a £100 fine, with additional penalties and interest charges accumulating with each passing day.

If you delay by 12 months, you could be facing penalties of £300 or 5% of the tax due, on top of any earlier fines. In severe cases, fines can amount to as much as 100% of the tax due.

Neglecting to submit a tax return altogether leads to an estimated tax bill from HMRC, who have the power to enforce payment via the courts. Errors on your return can also lead to penalties. So it’s important to double-check your return before submitting it.

Tips for Filing Your Tax Return Efficiently

Easy tax return filing commences with online HMRC registration and a decision on the method of submission – paper or online. Online submission offers several advantages, including an extended deadline and instant confirmation of receipt. Plus you don’t need to reply on the post, and the actual submission takes just seconds.

Using tax software can greatly simplify the process of filing your tax return. Tools such as GoSimpleTax and TaxCalc can help you meet the filing deadline and avoid errors.

Maintaining organization of all your tax-related documents and records is also of great significance. This not only makes the process of filing your tax return easier but also helps you in case of any inquiries or audits from HMRC.

Seeking Help and Support

Should you encounter difficulties with your tax return, seeking help is strongly advised. You can turn to tax charities, HMRC helplines, and various online resources for assistance.

Tax charities offer free and confidential tax advice to individuals with lower incomes and can help you understand how to pay tax correctly. Examples are TaxAid and Tax Help For Older People.

To use the HMRC helplines make sure you have all your personal and tax-related information at hand. This includes:

  • Income statements
  • Expenses
  • Any specific questions or concerns you have.

Using an Accountant

Naturally, as a firm of accountants, we would strongly suggest using an accountant to complete your personal tax return for a fast, efficient preparation and filing of your personal tax return. There are lots of excellent personal tax filing services available, but ours is by far best 🙂 Everything is done online for our personal tax return clients including the approval of the tax return that we have prepared. We offer an excellent pricing structure and reward those who get started early.


In summary, timely and accurate submission of your tax return is needed to avoid penalties and interest charges. Whether you choose to submit your tax return on paper or online, knowing the deadlines and registering for self-assessment is essential. Make use of available resources and tools to file your tax return efficiently and seek help if needed from a well-known contractor accountant. Remember, a well-managed tax return process is a step towards financial wellbeing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates for filing my 2022/23 tax return?

The deadline for filing a paper tax return for 2022/23 is 31 October 2023. If filing online, the due date is 31 January 2024.

Is there a deadline for tax returns UK?

Yes, the deadline for tax returns in the UK is typically 31 October if filing on paper and 31 January if filing online. Late filing may incur penalties.

How late can you file a tax return UK?

You can file your tax return in the UK by 31 January following the tax year end if you file online. It is important to ensure timely submission to avoid any penalties. If you miss this date, try it get it filed as soon as you can to reduce late payment interest and penalties.

How do I register for self-assessment?

You can register for self-assessment through the HMRC website before the deadline of 5 October.

What are Payments on Account and when are they due?

Payments on Account are advance payments towards your tax liability. They are due twice a year, with the first payment due on 31 January and the second on 31 July. For example, if we calculate for your 2022/23 personal tax return that you have £1,200 in tax due, you will need to pay a total of £1,800 by 31 January 2024, and a further £600 by 31 July 2024. This is broken down as follows;

Tax due for 2022/23 payable by 31 January 2024 : £1,200

Tax due for 2023/24 payable by 31 January 2024 : £600 (this is your first payment on account for the 2023/24 tax year).

Tax due for 2023/24 payable by 31 July 2024 : £600 (this is your second payment on account).

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