Tax Returns & Self-Assessment Deadlines 2024

You have until midnight on 31 January 2024 to submit your self-assessment tax return online. This would be your return for the tax year starting on 6 April 2022 and ending on 5 April 2023.

In this post we’ll discuss some of the other deadlines you need to be aware of, while addressing some other common questions you might have about your self-assessment tax return.

There are a number of deadlines you need to be aware of when you do a self assessment tax return.

Who Needs to do a Self-Assessment Tax Return?

You must complete a self-assessment tax return if:

  • You’re a self-employed sole-trader, freelancer, or contractor. Earn more than £1,000 in a single tax year, and you’ll need to submit a return.
  • You own a business, either as a director of a limited company, or as a partner in a partnership.

Read our full guide to who needs to do a self-assessment tax return.

Self-Assessment Submission Deadlines

When it comes to self-assessment, there are a number of deadlines to be aware of:

  • Registration Deadline – You need to register for self-assessment if you’ve never done so before. For the 2022-2023 tax year, the registration deadline was 5 October 2023.
  • Paper Return Deadline – You can either submit your self-assessment tax return on paper, or online. For the 2022-2023 tax year, the paper return submission deadline was midnight on 31 October.
  • Online Submission Deadline – As we mentioned above, if you want to submit your return online, you have until midnight on 31 January to do so.
  • Payments on Account – Sometimes you’ll have to make advance payments towards your next tax bill. These are known as Payments on Account, and you’ll pay it in two instalments. You pay your first Payment on Account as part of your initial tax bill, and you have until 31 July to make the second payment.

What is Payment on Account in a Tax Return?

If you’ve never submitted a self-assessment tax return before, your first tax bill may turn out to be higher than you expected.

This will likely be due to Payments on Account, which HMRC adds to all tax bills that are higher than £1,000.

A Payment on Account is an advanced payment towards your next tax bill. And if you’re self-employed, it will also include Class 4 National Insurance contributions.

In each tax year you’ll need to make two Payments on Account. The first is due by midnight on 31 January, and the second by midnight on 31 July. Each payment is half your previous year’s tax bill.

Read our full guide to Payments on Account. In this guide, we give an example of how Payment on Accounts are calculated, and we also explore your options if you find you cannot afford to pay.

What Happens If I Miss My Self-Assessment Deadline?

There’s an immediate £100 fine if you miss the deadline for submitting your tax return or paying your bill. You’ll then face additional penalties for extended delays. For delays between three and six months, you’ll get charged £10 a day for up to 90 days. This means you’ll pay a maximum penalty of £900.

If you’re delayed more than six months in submitting or paying your tax bill, you’ll get an additional penalty of either 5% of the tax due, or £300 – whichever amount is higher.

On top of these fixed penalties, HMRC will also charge interest on any late tax payments. So the longer you leave it to pay your tax bill, the higher your tax bill will be.

What About VAT?

You’ll also have to register for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 in a 12 month period.

The deadline for VAT returns will vary from business to business. When you first register for VAT, you’ll be able to choose on which month you’d like to report on for VAT. Your deadline will then fall at the end of whichever calendar month you choose.

Read our full guide to registering for VAT as a freelancer, contractor, or business owner.

Tax Support for Self-Employed Freelancers and Contractors

New to the world of self-employment and self-assessment? It can take some time to get to grips with your tax obligations. That’s why we created a detailed guide to tax for self-employed workers.

Head here to read our guide to tax for self-employed workers.

If you have any questions, or you’d like to discuss your options, you can contact the Tapoly team at, call our info line on +44(0)207 846 0180, or use the chat box on our website.