Santa’s filed his Self Assessment, have you?

Sunday December 24th 2023

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Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

With Christmas celebrations almost here, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been filming with Santa to encourage customers to tick their tax return off their to do list before his annual visit on Sunday night.

A ‘Love Actually’ inspired post will also debut on HMRC’s social channels, highlighting the help and support available so that customers can file their Self Assessment for the 2022 to 2023 tax year before enjoying the festivities. The guidance available helps customers find out what they owe, plan how to pay by the 31 January 2024 deadline and if they are due a refund.

Santa, whose preparation to file his return is shown in the reel, said:

“If you want to make sure you’re on the ‘nice list’ this year, follow my lead and get your tax return completed before I deliver the presents; who knows you may even get a tax refund to kick start the New Year.”

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“Christmas is a busy time of year for many of us and customers are increasingly realising the benefits of getting their tax return done before Santa shows up. To get started, go to GOV.UK and search ‘Self Assessment’.”

During December and January, HMRC’s helpline is supporting customers who have queries about Self Assessment payments, repayments and those who need help completing their tax return. Expert advisers will be at hand to answer complex queries that cannot be easily dealt with online. Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found online.

A record 290,000 customers filed their Self Assessment tax return in the week before Christmas last year – an increase of 21,000 on the previous year.

There are a wide range of resources online including a series of video tutorials on YouTube, and help and support on GOV.UK.

Whilst customers do not have to pay any outstanding tax until 31 January 2024, those who file before 30 December may have the option, if eligible, of paying anything they owe through their PAYE tax code.

If customers cannot pay in full, HMRC wants to help them to find an affordable way to pay the tax they owe. They may be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement and do this online without speaking to HMRC if they owe less than £30,000.

There is a new affordability assessment for Time to Pay. Customers will be asked about their income and spending to calculate their disposable income and set up an affordable payment plan for them.

The quickest and easiest way to pay for any tax owed is via the free and secure HMRC app. Visit GOV.UK for a full list of ways to pay.

It is important that customers let HMRC know of any changes to personal details or circumstances, such as a new address or name, or if they have stopped being self-employed or their business has closed.

If customers think they no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, they should tell HMRC – so that HMRC can issue a withdrawal notice – before the deadline on 31 January 2024 to avoid any penalties. HMRC has produced two videos explaining how customers can go online and stop Self Assessment if they are self-employed and those who are not self-employed.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams and should never share their HMRC login details with anyone, including a tax agent, if they have one. HMRC scams advice is available on GOV.UK.

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