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Unbelievable excuses for tax returns that miss the Jan 31st filing deadline

The deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax returns online for the tax year 22-23 is fast approaching! Tax returns must be filed by 11.59pm on 31 January 2024 and any tax owed from the 2021/22 tax year must also be paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by this date – you won’t believe some of the laughable excuses HMRC have received in the past for late submissions

Who must complete a Self Assessment tax return?

You might receive a payslip every month and pay your tax on your wages, pension or savings at source, however, if you are self-employed or have extra untaxed income, rental income on a property or investment income etc you must complete a tax return.

If your income is above £100,000, you need to complete a self assessment tax return.

You can use a free Government tool to check whether you need to submit a Self Assessment tax return and it won’t send your details to HMRC. Check it out.

Need to file a tax return for 22-23? What to do next

If HB Accountants prepare and file the return on your behalf, please share all required information, including employer and employee pension contributions, with us, straight away so have time to work on your computation, draft your return for your approval and submit by the January 31 deadline. You will receive a penalty for late submission.

Unbelievable excuses for tax returns that miss the deadline

You wouldn’t believe some of the amazing excuses HMRC receive for missing the deadline. By all accounts some taxpayers think it’s OK to blame the the in-law, their employees or even the weather!

  • “My boiler had broken, and my fingers were too cold to type.”
  • “Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses.”
  • “I’m too short to reach the post box.”
  • “I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn.”
  •  “My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me.”

The next deadline is 31 January 2023 for online Self Assessment tax returns for the tax year 2022/23.

Laughable excuses as above are not accepted by HMRC as reasons for being late. But remember that help is available for those with a genuine reason for being late, such as if you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from filing your tax return.

Important changes to self assessment criteria for 23-24 returns – threshold raised to £150,000

From the 2023/2024 tax year onwards, the self assessment threshold for taxpayers will rise to £150,000 as long as your only income is via PAYE. This means that you only need to submit a self assessment tax return if your income exceeds £150,000 or you receive income from sources. Other sources of income include but are not limited to self employment income over £1000, dividends, high income child benefit, or rental income – read more here.

Can I submit my tax return early?

Yes you can! You can file your tax return from 6 April. There is one very positive reason to get your tax return in early – if you are eligible for a tax refund, the earlier you get your return in, the earlier HMRC will transfer your money!

How to pay your UK self assessment tax bill to HMRC and Important Deadlines

The deadlines for paying your tax bill are usually 31 January for;

Read our guide on how to pay your self assessment tax liability here

If you are unsure whether you need to submit a self assessment tax return, talk to us, we are happy to guide you.

Alternatively, you may wish to use the HMRCs online tool.  

If you want to discuss tax, self assessments and expenses, do give us a call. Not only can we help with your questions about tax, we can offer you support with your payroll, management accounting and so much more. You can contact us on 01992 444466.  We’re accountants for business and for people. We’re here to help.

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