What are the Self Assessment deadline dates in 2024?

5 min read
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Self Assessment season – not everyone’s favourite time of year. Are most of your clients’ tax returns submitted and paid well before the 31st of January? Or do you find yourself working right up to the Self Assessment deadline, thanks to clients leaving things to the last minute?

Our guide explains the self assessment deadlines to look out for in 2023 and 2024, including submission and payment deadlines for paper and online tax returns.

When is Self Assessment due this year?

The key Self Assessment date to know is 31st January 2024. This is the deadline for:

  • Submitting your tax return (for the tax year of 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023) online

  • Paying any tax you owe, or making a balancing payment for the above tax year

  • Making an advance payment on your future bill amount

However, there are other Self Assessment tax return deadlines to keep in mind this year.

  • If you have not sent a tax return before but need to, tell HMRC by 5th October 2023

  • Paper tax returns have an earlier deadline than online – by 31st October 2023

  • If you make advance payments towards your bill, the second deadline is 31st July

There are also a couple of exceptions to normal deadlines for Self Assessment tax returns.

  • If you want HMRC to collect tax you owe automatically, submit by 30th December

  • You must submit a paper tax return if you’re a trustee of a registered pension scheme or a non-resident company – it can be submitted on the usual 31st January

Ideally, you want to submit and pay your tax returns before these deadlines. Missing these dates can result in having to pay a penalty [link to new page] or facing a stressful appeal process.

Meeting Self Assessment Dates

Meeting Self Assessment deadlines needn’t be that bad. If, like many accounting professionals, you dread the thought of it, here are some ideas for making the impending Self Assessment deadline less stressful, from setting your own deadlines to reviewing the systems you use.

We’ve heard from a number of accounting professionals who use these practices, and we’d love to hear from you too. Read on for our tips for meeting the Self Assessment payment deadlines.

How to remove the stress of the Self Assessment deadline

1) Use your fees to incentivise your clients

Some incentives include:

  • Early-bird discounts - You could offer discounted fees for clients who submit their data in good time and in good order – say before the end of August.

  • Tiered fees - You could offer a fee structure to encourage your clients to provide paperwork early. The later they submit, the more they pay.

  • Late penalties - You could tell clients that you’ll only be able to offer the same fee as last year if you receive all the necessary data before Christmas. After that, they’ll need to pay a premium (maybe 25%–50%) in order to have their tax return processed before the Self Assessment deadline.

2) Make it as easy as possible for clients to send you their data

You can do this by:

  • Making sure clients know exactly what data you need from them and how they should send it.

  • Reducing the risk of inaccurate and incomplete data, by providing checklists of everything you need from them.

  • Using the same accounting software as your clients- so you’re accessing their data directly. You’ll eliminate errors and speed things up enormously. This also keeps you and your client in touch and helps avoid clients turning up in the last week of January with a bag full of receipts.

3) Set your own deadline

Get clients to work to your tax return deadline, not to the one on the 31st of January. Once you’ve chosen a date, tell them your earlier deadline in all correspondence, and don’t mention 31st January. Just be warned, you’ll have to take your own deadline very seriously to make this work.

4) Head off mistakes

Here’s a frightening statistic - one in five people filing their own Self Assessment return over the past few years think they may have made an error that has cost them financially. Given that over 10 million returns are filed every year, that’s a lot of mistakes – and a lot of potential clients needing your help.

So, outline to clients what some of the most common tax return errors are. Tell them how to prevent them. You can give examples specific to the type of client you’re dealing with at the time.

5) Provide support

Offer workshops or even online webinars - explaining to clients how they can make meeting the Self Assessment deadline easier for themselves. You can round up key points and any changes they need to know about, and it’s also a good chance to let clients ask any questions.

Staying in close communication with your clients like this will encourage them to act when you want them to.

6) Review your own systems

After the Self Assessment tax return deadline has passed, it’s a good time to see how you can improve your own in-house processes. Ask yourself:

  • What lessons have you learned?

  • What could you do differently?

  • Can any of your communications or procedures be improved in light of what you’ve learned?

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Approach the Self Assessment deadline with confidence

If you want the Self Assessment deadline to be met as smoothly as possible, make sure both you and your clients are using reliable online accounting software, such as QuickBooks. You’ll all be on the same page (literally), which will save you huge amounts of time during this stressful period.

QuickBooks’ Self Assessment calculator can make it easier to keep accurate records of your clients’ expenses. This year, you can save hours of admin and lose the piles of paper when you manage your clients’ expenses with QuickBooks.

Now go forth and approach next year’s Self Assessment deadline with confidence.

Did you find this article about the Self Assessment deadline useful? The QuickBooks blog covers a wide range of business-related topics designed to help you grow and develop your business.

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The information on this website is provided free of charge and is intended to be helpful to a wide range of businesses. Because of its general nature the information cannot be taken as comprehensive and they do not constitute and should never be used as a substitute for legal, accounting, tax or professional advice. We cannot guarantee that the information applies to the individual circumstances of your business. Despite our best efforts it is possible that some information may be out of date. Any reliance you place on information found on this site or linked to on other websites will be at your own risk.


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