For many people new to filing taxes, the tax year can be confusing. We’ll help you through.
STOP PRESS: NO PENALTIES SO LONG AS YOU FILE BY 28 FEBRUARY
In a rush? The deadline on 31 January 2021 (now effectively extended to 28 February 2021) is for the period from 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020. If you became self-employed or otherwise required to do a tax return after that date, then your tax return will be due on 31 January 2022.
If you need to submit a tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), this needs to be sent by the following 31 January after the tax year ends, at the latest (unless there are exceptional reasons), so, around nine months after the tax year ended. For 2019 to 2020 HMRC have effectively extended the deadline to 28 February. By this point you should be sending in your tax return for the tax year ended 5 April 2020. That year is called the 2019 to 2020 tax year.
If you became self-employed on or after 6 April 2020 you don’t need to send a tax return in for the 2019 to 2020 tax year, unless there is some other reason for you to do this. Around a million people became self-employed last year but many of these won’t need to send a tax return in this month. If you’re still not sure you can check whether you need to send in a tax return at the HMRC website.
If you need to send in a tax return and you haven’t registered with HMRC before, untied can help you register. Just read our guide to registration or contact us for help.
More about the deadlines
The personal income tax year ends on 5th April. It’s an odd date, but that’s history for you! It goes back to when Britain changed calendars back in the 1750s. If you’re interested in the history, read why the tax year starts on 6 April. Otherwise just remember that the income tax year runs from 6th April one year to 5th April the next. It’s not related to the calendar year ending 31st December!