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  • Catherine Stork

Should I submit my Self Assessment tax return early?

When the new tax year starts in April, that January deadline for your Self Assessment might feel like a distant worry. However, every year we help our clients file their returns in the first month or so. Our record is 6am on the first day of the new tax year.

In our eyes, it's never too early to get on top of the previous year's finances! In this blog, we hope to convince you that the same is true for you.

What are the deadlines?

Firstly, let's chat about those dates for the calendar. The tax year ends on 5th April each year. On 6th April, a tax return can be submitted for the previous year onwards.

Paper tax returns are due at midnight on 31st October of that year. The deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax return online is 31st January of the following year.

For example, the deadline for the end of the 2022-23 tax year is 5th April 2023. Your tax return for the 2022-23 tax return can be submitted from 6th April 2023 onwards. The deadline for completing and submitting this tax return is 31st January 2024.

What are the advantages of submitting my tax return early?

There are a few advantages of nipping your tax return in the bud and submitting early.

It can take time to register

If you're new to the world of self employment, you may need to register to file a Self Assessment. This process can take time. What's more, in January HMRC's call centres are overwhelmed. To avoid lengthy wait times, make sure to register and call for support early.

Give yourself more time - and less stress

We all know business finances can feel a little headache inducing. We don't all share the love for numbers that accountants do! This means for many, the thought of a looming tax return can cause more stress and worry in the long run.

Mistakes when filling out your return can be costly for your business with penalties from HMRC based on the tax you owe. By beginning the process of filing early, you're allowing yourself (and your accountant and bookkeeper) more time to review everything, reduce risks and ensure you're claiming for all allowable expenses open to you.

There are also late filing penalties if you miss the deadline. Filing early rules out these fines.

Receive a tax refund sooner

If you think you're likely to receive a tax refund, then submitting early will mean getting the cash in your bank sooner.

Budget for your tax bill

Filing your tax return earlier means giving yourself more time to budget for your tax bill as you'll have more time to prepare and manage your cash flow.

What's more, if you're making a payment on account at the end of July, you might be able to reduce your bill.

Enjoy your Christmas

The deadline for submitting your online tax return is just over a month after Christmas. Filing early means reclaiming your festive period for exactly what it's meant for: spending time with loved ones and zoning out.

But do I have to pay my bill early too?

The short answer is no! The date(s) for making your payments are not impacted by the time you file your tax return.


If you would like to chat in more detail about your unique circumstances, please get in touch today to book your FREE initial consultation. Give Catherine a call on 01423 431889 or email

Please note: all stats are accurate for the 2022/23 tax year.

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