Why it pays to file early

More than 63,500 people filed their 2020-21 self-assessment return online on April 6, the first day of the new tax year – with more people being urged to act early.

There have been almost 950,000 online returns received so far this tax year and HMRC is urging others to follow their example and file their tax returns early.

Each year, thousands of people choose to file as soon as one tax year ends and the new one starts.

HMRC says it has seen a growing trend in early filers. In the last five tax years, the number of customers choosing to file on the first day of the new year has almost trebled from 22,885 in 2017 to 63,521 in 2021.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “There are many advantages to completing your self assessment tax return sooner rather than later, not least that if you’re due a tax refund you’ll get the money within a few days.”

HMRC has also launched a new online guidance offering support to the self-employed. It says the guide answers many of the questions they may have.

Go to GOV.UK and search ‘file your tax return early’. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/file-your-self-assessment-tax-return-early/file-your-tax-return-early

It includes helpful information, including, how to get help with your tax return, what to do when declaring Covid-19 support measures and what to do if you have paid too much tax.

In a statement HMRC said it recognised that the pandemic had been a worrying time for self-assessment taxpayers and it was doing all it can to support them to accurately file their returns and meet their obligations.

HMRC also stresses that taxpayers don’t need to wait to submit their returns, they can file at a time that suits them and avoid any last-minute rush to meet the deadline on January 31, 2022.

And it adds: “Some people like completing it early for their peace of mind and it helps them better manage their tax bills.”

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