2020/21 tax return deadline looms

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Date: 12 October 2021

A woman completes her self assessment tax return early

HMRC is reminding taxpayers to check that they have the correct information in order to complete their next tax return - including any payments from COVID-19 support schemes.

The deadline for 2020/21 tax returns is 31 October 2021 for those completing paper forms and 31 January 2022 for online returns. Customers can file before the January deadline but still have until 31 January to pay. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says it has already received thousands of tax returns for 2020/21.

Any customer who is new to self assessment must register via GOV.UK to receive their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Self-employed individuals must also register for Class 2 National Insurance.

HMRC is encouraging customers to register early to ensure they meet the filing and payment deadlines. This year, customers will have to declare if they received any grants or payments from COVID-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021 as these are taxable. They include:

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS);
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS);
  • Other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

If you are employed and received CJRS (furlough) payments during the 2020 to 2021 tax year, you will need to enter your earnings and income tax as stated on your P60. Your P60 will include any furlough payments you received up to 5 April 2021. HMRC says that the £500 one-off payment for working households receiving tax credits should not be reported in self assessment.

For those that are concerned about their ability to pay what they owe, taxpayers can set up a monthly payment plan online by using HMRC's Time to Pay facility. Customers should contact HMRC for help if they have concerns about paying their bill.

Myrtle Lloyd, director general for HMRC Customer Services, said: "We want to help people get their tax returns right by making sure they are prepared and have everything they need before they start their self assessment. If anyone is worried about paying their tax bill, support is available - search 'time to pay' on GOV.UK."

The fastest way to complete a tax return is online via a Personal Tax Account. Taxpayers will need their UTR to access their tax return, as well as details of their income or earnings and other financial records. Detailed information on what documents are needed for self assessment are on GOV.UK.

HMRC is also urging everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. HMRC sees high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from the department. If in doubt, search GOV.UK for HMRC scams.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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