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You’ve Missed the Self-Assessment Filing Deadline – What Now?

Self Assessment Filing Deadline

The deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns for tax year 2021/22 was 31st January 2023, so if you needed to file and you didn’t, you’ve missed the deadline! HMRC estimate that 600,000 people missed the deadline this year, so you’re certainly not alone. In this article we’ll look at the consequences of missing the filing deadline for self-assessment, and how you can minimise the cost.

The cost of missing the self-assessment deadline

The bad news is that there will be a cost, and if you’ve already missed the deadline there’s nothing you can do about that. The minimum you’ll pay, just for missing the filing deadline, is £100. If your return is more than three months late, you will pay more. This is the case even if you don’t owe any tax.

If tax was due and not paid on time

The 31st of January was also the deadline for paying your tax bill if tax was due. If you haven’t paid yet, there will be a penalty for late payment, this is separate from, and in addition to, any penalty for filing your tax return late.

  • 30 days – You’ll have to pay 5% of the tax you owe at that date

  • 6 months – You’ll have to pay a further penalty of 5% of the tax you owe at that date

  • 12 months – You’ll have to pay a further penalty of 5% of the tax you owe at that date

HMRC may also charge you interest on top of these penalties for late payment.

What if you have a reasonable excuse?

You may avoid paying a penalty if you have what HMRC deem to be a “reasonable excuse” for filing your return late. Each case will be considered individually, but here are some examples of things that may constitute a reasonable excuse:

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline

  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs

  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness

  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return

  • service issues with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services

  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return

  • postal delays that you could not have predicted

  • delays related to a disability or mental illness you have

  • you were unaware of or misunderstood your legal obligation

  • you relied on someone else to send your return, and they did not

You must send your return or payment as soon as possible after your reasonable excuse is resolved.

Do you need to file a self-assessment tax return

You can find out if you need to file a self-assessment tax return by completing HMRC’s questionnaire.  HMRC will assume you need to file, so if you don’t you must inform them ASAP.

If you can’t afford to pay your tax bill

We are aware that some people will be avoiding filing their tax return because they know they can’t afford to pay the tax they owe. Delaying further will increase the penalties and interest you have to pay, and will make the situation worse, so if you’re in this position it’s important that you file your return ASAP.

You can set up a ‘Time to Pay’ payment plan with HMRC to spread the cost of your latest Self -Assessment bill if all the following apply:

  • you owe £30,000 or less

  • you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC

  • your tax returns are up to date

  • it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

If you have questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468483 or email

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