Important UK tax deadlines

Important UK tax deadlines
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If you are self-employed or a sole trader in the UK, it’s important to know the tax deadlines for filing your UK tax return.

These dates include the deadline for submission, but there are other dates that you may need to be aware of depending on your situation.

Important UK tax year dates

The tax deadlines for filing UK tax returns in chronological order from the beginning of 2021 are as follows:

  • 31 January 2021 – The deadline for filing your online self-assessment tax return for the tax year 2019/2020. The tax you owe for the tax year 2019/2020 must be paid by this date. This is also the deadline for the first payment on account if you use this method to pay your tax bill.

  • 6 April 2021 – This is the first day of the new tax year 2021/2022.

  • 31 July 2021 – This is the deadline for the second payment on account if you use this method to pay your tax bill.

  • 5 October 2021 – You need to be registered with the HMRC by this date if you become self-employed during the 2020/2021 tax year.

  • 31 October 2021 – This is the deadline for submission of paper self-assessment tax returns for the 2020/2021 tax year.

Penalties for missing tax deadlines in the UK

You will be charged a penalty for missing any of the deadlines. The amount will depend on the deadline and the delay. The penalties are as follows.

Late filing

If HMRC sends you a tax return, you must fill it out and send it back. This is a legal requirement.

You will be charged for missing the deadline for filing a UK tax return even if you do not owe any tax.

The charges are as follows:

  • £100 if submitted up to three months late

  • £10 per day if submitted between three and six months late, up to a maximum charge of £900

  • 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is the greater, if submitted between six and 12 months late

Late payment

Your bill will increase by 5% if unpaid after 30 days. It will increase by another 5% if unpaid after six months and a further 5% after 12 months. You will also be charged interest on late payments on account.

Payment option

If you are unable to pay by the tax deadlines for filing in the UK, you may be able to spread the cost by setting up a payment plan.

To qualify, you need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • You owe £30,000 or less

  • You have no other outstanding debts or payment plans with HMRC

  • Your tax returns are up to date

  • You have missed the payment deadline by less than 60 days.


If you have a large tax bill that you are struggling to pay, don’t suffer in silence. Speak to HMRC straight away. If you are experiencing problems due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be eligible for business support. Also, check out our article on grants for self-employed workers.

Other organisations that may be able to help include Citizens Advice and Tax Aid.

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