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Over two million self-employed yet to complete 2022 tax return

2-minute read

Conor Shilling

1 February 2022

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Following the tax return deadline on 31 January, new data from HMRC shows that 2.3 million self-employed people are yet to complete their Self Assessment.

They now have until 28 February 2022 to submit their 2020/21 tax return and avoid a late filing penalty.

Busy tax deadline day for the self-employed

HMRC’s data shows that a total of 10.2 million people filed their Self Assessment before the 23:59 deadline on 31 January.

As is the case every year, some taxpayers left it until the final day to file their return.

  • more than 630,000 people filed their tax return on 31 January 2022
  • the peak hour on deadline day was 16:00 to 16:59 when 52,475 submitted their Self Assessment
  • 20,947 taxpayers completed their return between 23:00 and 23:59

What happens if I haven’t paid my 2020/21 tax bill?

In early January, HMRC announced that for the second year running it won’t issue late filing penalties for tax returns, as long as if they're submitted by 28 February.

However, interest will be added to outstanding tax payments from 1 February, so it’s still in people’s interests to pay as soon as possible.

HMRC advises those who are yet to submit their 2020/21 tax return to pay an estimate to keep interest costs down. You can use Gov.uk’s self-employed tax calculator to work out a rough estimate of your bill.

The self-employed will need to pay their tax in full by 1 April to avoid receiving a late payment penalty. If you’re struggling to pay your tax bill, you’ll need to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 1 April 2022. This allows you to pay your tax bill over 12 months.

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Taxpayers should remain alert to HMRC scams

Less than a week before the 31 January deadline, HMRC reported that 3.5 million people still needed to file their tax return.

It warned that the closer to the deadline it gets, there’s a higher risk of self-employed people falling victim to a scam.

Fraudsters target taxpayers who are rushing to complete their Self Assessment with false messages claiming to be HMRC. Some of the most common scams include threatening court action or saying someone is due a rebate.

Last year, it was reported that HMRC phone scams increased 21 per cent, with 800,000 scams reported in total.

HMRC has been successful in reducing fraud in recent years. According to the BBC, it was the third most phished brand in the world, but now sits outside the top 100. Despite this, taxpayers are being urged to remain vigilant.

Need help with your tax return?

If haven’t filed or paid your 2020/21 tax return, visit our Self Assessment support page for helpful guides on:

There are also options to contact HMRC via web chat, phone, or on Twitter.

What are your top tips for filling out your tax return on time? Let us know in the comments below.

Photograph 1: fizkes/stock.adobe.com

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