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Submitting your tax return as soon as the next tax year starts might seems like a strange notion, but it definitely has benefits. Rather than putting your Self Assessment tax return off until the last few days of January, read our guide to why sooner is better.

How early can I submit my Self Assessment tax return?

A Self Assessment return for a particular year can be submitted from the day after that tax year ends. For example:

  • The end of the 2023/24 tax year is 5th April 2024
  • You can submit your Self Assessment tax return for the 23/24 tax year from 6th April 2024 onwards
22/2023 Self Assessment Registration Deadline22/2023 Self Assessment Paper Return Deadline
22/2023 Self Assessment Online Return Deadline22/2023 Self Assessment Payment Deadline

Is it better to submit my tax return early?

Completing and submitting your Self Assessment tax return early has several advantages over waiting to do it later.

You’re more likely to receive your tax refund sooner

If you’re likely to receive a tax refund (which is often the case for CIS subcontractors in particular), then submitting your tax return sooner means getting that money back faster, too.

Claim back all your allowable expenses

Making your submission earlier gives you more time to review everything properly and reduce the risk of mistakes. It also gives you a chance to claim for all those allowable expenses, and minimise that tax bill. It also means you have more time to chat to your accountant, bookkeeper, or anyone else who can help you submit your tax return. Watch our video below for our top tax-saving tips.

Give yourself more time to prepare for Self Assessment

You’ll know exactly what you owe, and give yourself more time to pay it over a longer period – which helps with planning your cash flow! Tax returns can be stressful, and paying them can be even worse. Getting your Self Assessment in as soon as possible can help alleviate some of the worrying, and help you prepare – especially if your tax bill is more than £1,000 and you need to make Payments on Account.

Check out our Self Assessment guide to learn how it all works.

Registering for Self Assessment isn’t instant

Before getting as far as sending a return, you’ll need to register for Self Assessment. The process isn’t instant; after filling in the online form you’ll need to wait a few days for confirmation letters before completing the registration. Which is another good reason for getting everything sorted out early!

If I submit my Self Assessment earlier, do I have to pay straight away?

The date you submit your Self Assessment doesn’t affect the payment deadline, so filing your tax return earlier in the year doesn’t mean you need to pay your bill earlier, too. Unless of course, you want to pay your tax bill early.

Filing earlier simply gives you more time to budget for your tax bill. Which is definitely less hassle than being fined by HMRC for late payment.

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What are the Self Assessment deadlines for my 2023/24 tax return?

There are slightly different deadlines for submitting your tax return depending on how you send it. It’s important to submit your return and pay any money you owe before the deadline, in order to avoid penalties.

Register for Self Assessment If you need to send a tax return for 2023/24 but didn’t need to for the previous year, you should register for Self Assessment by this date. 5th October 2024
Submitting a paper tax return The deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax return if you use a paper form. Midnight, 31st October 2024
Submitting a tax return online This is the deadline for submitting your tax return if you submit online. Midnight, 31st January 2025
Paying your Self Assessment tax bill You should pay your tax bill in full by this date in order to avoid penalties. Midnight, 31st January 2025

Talk to us about how our online accounting services can help you with your Self Assessment. Call 020 3355 4047 to chat to the team, and get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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Dariusz Stepien
Dariusz Stepien
18th April 2022 1:27 pm

Thank You for advice

5th May 2023 8:12 pm

If I started self employment in January 2023, do I need to do a tax return in April 2023??

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