HMRC warning as millions risk fine if they miss deadline in just two days’ time

Britons have just two days to register with HMRC as a self-assessment taxpayer, or they could face a penalty.

Self-assessment is the method HMRC uses to collect tax from people who don’t have it automatically deducted from their wages.

While this traditionally applies to people who are self-employed, the rise in side hustles means that more people may now have additional tax obligations to fulfil.

As reported by the Mirror, data compiled by the comparison site published in May this year shows around 44 percent of Britons had a side hustle in 2023.

The upcoming deadline to register is aimed at people who have never submitted a self-assessment tax return before, and it falls on October 5, 2023. It is not the date people have to pay.

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Dan Whittaker, personal finance expert at CashLady, explained: “While you have to register by October 5, 2023, payments are due by midnight on January 31, 2024.

“If you miss the January deadline, you will have to pay interest on the amount you owe and any penalties. If you delay sending your return by 12 months, you may have to pay a further penalty of five percent of the tax you owe or £300, whichever is greater.”

According to Turn2Us, people will need to register for self-assessment tax if in the last tax year:

  • Their income from self-employment was more than £1,000
  • They got more than £2,500 from renting out property
  • They got more than £2,500 in other untaxed income
  • They had a P800 from HMRC saying they did not pay enough tax last year
  • They need to prove you’re self-employed, for example, to claim Tax-Free Childcare
  • They want to make Voluntary Class Two National Insurance payments to help qualify for benefits.

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There are different ways to register depending on a person’s circumstance and they can find out if they need to using the Government’s questionnaire here.

Those who do need to register can do so online or by calling the self-assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “If you are new to Self Assessment and unsure how the process works – HMRC is here to help.

“We have a wealth of resources and guidance available to help customers register, sign up for online services and complete their tax returns. We want to help customers get their tax right the first time, just search ‘Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.”

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What happens if I miss the deadline to register?

Those who fail to register for their self assessment by October 5, 2023 could receive a penalty.

Mr Whittaker said: “It is recommended that you still register as soon as you can, even after the deadline, as this could potentially help you avoid any further penalties.

“If you have received a charged penalty, and you have a reasonable excuse for failing to notify HMRC, you can consider appealing the penalty. Perhaps certain obligations or circumstances got in the way, causing you to miss the deadline – HMRC may consider this.”

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