Will My Tax Return Be Deposited At Midnight?

31 January – the all-important tax date in Britain – is just days away now. HMRC receive thousands of last-gasp tax returns every single year; 33,000 people filed in the final hour in January 2017. If…

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31 January – the all-important tax date in Britain – is just days away now. HMRC receive thousands of last-gasp tax returns every single year; 33,000 people filed in the final hour in January 2017. If you’re in the habit of leaving things until the eleventh hour, you may be wondering: Will my tax return be deposited at midnight?

As we edge closer to the Self Assessment tax return deadline, we explain what you must do to ensure your tax forms and payments are processed before time runs out.

Understanding the deadlines

It’s important to understand that both your Self Assessment tax form and your tax payment must be delivered to HMRC by midnight on 31 January. This means you need to gather all your receipts, make all the necessary calculations, choose a suitable submission method and then decide how you’re going to pay.

Whilst the Self Assessment tax return deadline and tax payment deadline are exactly the same, sending money alongside your form won’t guarantee the payment arrives on time.

For every late tax submission there’s a £100 penalty, with further penalties and interest on unpaid tax if you delay payment further. So how do you ensure a timely submission? First, you need to know about the various ways to file a Self Assessment and pay the bill.

How to file a Self Assessment tax return

There are three ways to submit your Self Assessment tax return. You can use the government’s online portal by registering/logging into your account, perform a frantic Google search for a local accountant, or use Self Assessment software like SimpleTax.

Accountants are, by and large, a very safe pair of hands. Many of these financial professionals are used to handling complex requests with speed and accuracy, even at the final hour. Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, they charge large sums to do so.

With HMRC’s portal, you do all the calculations yourself. Hitting the “submit” button sends your form directly to the taxman – and you’ll have a receipt to prove it… even if it’s 11.59pm.

Self Assessment tax software is a sort of happy medium: far less expensive than an accountant, but just as practical and supportive. This software offers you advice and guidance as you go, letting you send your form directly to HMRC with the click of a mouse. Again, you’ll receive a receipt on submission to confirm everything has gone through.

Tax payments

Payment cut-off points work in a slightly different way to the Self Assessment tax return deadline. Unlike your tax return submission, payments can take several days to process, which could technically result in a late payment that HMRC won’t look upon too kindly.

The question of ‘will my tax return be deposited at midnight?’ therefore depends on how you pay:

You can pay your tax bill online via the HMRC website or by phone, which can be done up to midnight on the 31st January. However, web speeds will be slow and lines will be jammed on the final day, so prioritise this the moment you know what you owe.

You can no longer pay via personal credit card, so you’ll need to use a debit card, business credit card or direct bank transfer to complete the transaction. However, BACS takes 3 working days to process on average; choose a CHAPS transaction instead if you’re paying via bank transfer on 31 January to ensure your money arrives on time.

Be sure you’re clued up before the clock strikes midnight on 31 January. Download SimpleTax today to finalise your tax bill.

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