Important deadlines for 2022
31 January 2022: online tax returns and first payment on account due
This is the deadline for online tax returns for the 2020-21 tax year. HMRC must have received your tax return by midnight.
Usually, the only time this deadline may differ is if you received a notice to make an online tax return from HMRC after 31 October 2021, in which case you have three months from the date of issue to file.
If you're not able to file your return by 31 January, HMRC has waived the £100 late fine until 28 February - as long as it receives your return by midnight on that day, you won't get charged.
The deadline to pay your tax bill is also 31 January, and if you're self-employed it's the day you'll have to make your first payment on account for the 2021-22 tax year, and a balancing payment if tax is still owed from your 2020-21 income.
If you miss the 31 January deadline to pay your tax bill, you'll incur 2.75% interest on what you owe from 1 February.
28 February 2022
This is the final day you can file your 2020-21 tax return without incurring a £100 late fine. Make sure HMRC receives your return by midnight at the latest.
1 April 2022
This is the last day you're able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement if you're not able to pay the tax you owe for 2020-21 in one go.
If you don't pay off your tax bill, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement by the end of the day, then you'll be in line to receive a penalty charge of 5% of the tax you owe - in addition to the interest that's accrued since 1 February.
6 April 2022: first day of the new 2022-23 tax year
Depending on what has been agreed in the Budget, new tax rates and allowances for 2022-23 will come into force from today, so make sure you know if anything has changed.
If you have all of the information you need, you could file your 2021-22 tax return from this date.
31 July 2022: second payment on account due
Self-employed workers who pay tax through payment on account will have to make their second payment by midnight on 31 July.
The amount you pay is an estimate based on your earnings in 2020-21. If you still owe tax after this has been paid, a further 'balancing payment' may be due on 31 January 2023.
5 October 2022: register for self-assessment
If you've never submitted a self-assessment tax return before, you must register by 5 October 2022 in order to submit for the 2021-22 tax year.
This will allow you to get your Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR) number and activation code in time, which you need to file your first return.
31 October 2022: paper tax returns due
This is the deadline for filing a paper tax return, However, if you receive a notice from HMRC that you must file a tax return after 31 July 2022, you'll need to send back the completed form within three months of the date issued on the notice.
If you miss the deadline for filing your paper tax return, don't be tempted to try and file it late. You'll still have time to complete an online tax return instead - as these aren't due until 31 January. But don't submit both.
30 December 2022: opt into PAYE
If you file your tax return online and also have earnings taxed under PAYE, you can opt to have overdue tax collected via your tax code throughout the following year.
However, to be eligible your tax bill must be less than £3,000 and you must file your online return by this date. The advantage of this is that any tax payable would be paid over 12 months from April 2023, rather than a single lump sum by 31 January 2023.
Fines for late tax returns
It's important to be aware that filing your tax return late, or failing to pay the tax you owe on time, will probably mean you'll face extra penalty fees and interest charges.
We've outlined the kinds of charges you could face for missing the tax return deadline below.
If you're late paying the tax you owe, you could face a host of additional fees. Find out more in our guide on late tax returns and penalties for mistakes.
How to submit your 2020-21 tax return
If you've never submitted a tax return before, you'll need to register with HMRC. You can do this online.
Once you've done that, you can choose from two ways to submit your tax return - by filling out the paper tax return and posting it to HMRC, or doing it online on the HMRC website.
Doing an online tax return has numerous advantages, which you can read about in our online tax returns guide.
Alternatively, you can use the Which? tax calculator - it's easy to use, jargon-free and offers personalised tax tips. Plus, you can submit the form directly to HMRC. Our video below explains how easy it is to use.