It’s never too early to submit your self-assessment tax return, even if the deadline for the 2021/22 tax year is all the way in January 2023.

Doing so can give you peace of mind, dodge curve balls thrown up by the pandemic and create an efficient tax plan.

Here’s our in-depth look into why you should get your tax return done early and everything you need to know to do so.

Why you should get your tax return done now

We said that getting your tax return will give you peace of mind and we mean it.

It might be a nuisance to sit down and do all the busy work that goes into a tax return, but that work has to be done at some point – the longer you put it off, the longer you have it hanging over your head. 

Do it now so you can enjoy the summer with a fresh mind.

It might seem a long time ago, but the 2021/22 tax year was also a strange one because of the pandemic. After all, we started the tax year fresh out of a third national lockdown

Therefore, your income might have been vastly different than usual and difficult to work out, while grants, like the self-employment income support scheme, may add further complications for you.

Taking the time to prepare properly in case something comes up or you make a mistake is always a smart move.

That’s especially important if you want to make sure you pay the right amount of tax you owe and not one penny more. Making a good tax strategy is always a long term thing, so the sooner you start, the better yours will be.

Dates and deadlines

If you need to complete a self-assessment deadline, it’s your responsibility to register with HMRC. 

Self-assessment tax returns typically apply to those who are self-employed, have a high income or have complicated tax affairs. You can use an online tool to check whether you need to register.

You must register by 5 October after the end of the tax year – for the 2021/22 tax year, that’s 5 October 2022.

However, if you already completed a self-assessment return last year, there is no need to register again this year. HMRC should automatically remind you of the need to complete a return.

If you want to complete a paper tax return, the deadline is 31 October 2022, so if that’s the way you prefer to do your taxes, now absolutely is the time to get started.

If you file online, the deadline is 31 January 2023. This is the same deadline for tax payment.

What do you need to fill in a self-assessment tax return

If you’ve never filled in a self-assessment tax return before, it can look daunting. But once you understand the process, it’s relatively simple – as long as you take care to gather all the information you need first.

Before you start, make sure you have:

  • your ten-digit unique taxpayer reference
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of your untaxed income from the tax year, including from self-employment, dividends and interest on shares
  • records of any expenses relating to self-employment
  • contributions to charity or pensions that may be eligible for tax relief
  • P60 or other records that show how much income you received that you’ve already paid tax on.

It’s always a good idea to read the relevant HMRC help sheets, particularly on the extra sections that relate to why you’re filing in the self-assessment tax return.

Alternatively, contact us for help with your tax return. We would only be happy to help, so you can get back to the important stuff.