Return filing season likely to be even busier than normal

Published: 6th January 2023

If the tax return filing deadline is missed, an automatic penalty of £100 is charged – even if there is no tax due, or a refund is owed to you. HMRC’s latest press release says that almost half of the returns expected to be filed for 2021/22 are still outstanding, meaning this January is going to be the usual last-minute scramble to get returns filed. However, this year brings extra pressure. The deadline was extended while the country was struggling with the aftermath of the pandemic, but no such concession is likely to be given this time round, so it’s important to get moving on filing now. This is especially true if you are yet to provide an accountant or tax advisor with information to file for on your behalf, as they are likely to be increasingly busy as the month draws on. Many will understandably operate on a “first come, first served” basis, and will have limited capacity.

Completing your return and establishing your tax liability will also allow you to contact HMRC to agree a time to pay arrangement ahead of the deadline. Doing so will avoid a late payment penalty, as long as you stick to the payments agreed.