Four reasons to file tax returns early

Early filing can help self-assessment clients better manage their cashflow and spread payments

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Taxpayers that file self-assessment tax returns early could take advantage of four key benefits when filing their tax return early, according to HMRC.

The self-assessment deadline for the 2022/23 tax year is 31 January 2024. By then, taxpayers must have submitted their return online using their government gateway account.

However, HMRC has revealed that taxpayers are increasingly filing their tax return early to give them more control over their financial affairs. For instance, more than 77,500 taxpayers submitted their 2022/23 tax returns on 6 April 2023 – double the number compared to the previous year.

HMRC has identified four key benefits to filing early:

  • Planning: taxpayers can find out what they owe for the 2022/23 tax year to help them with their financial planning
  • Budgeting: taxpayers can spread the cost of their tax bill by using HMRC's Budget Payment Plan in order to set up payments on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Refund: once a taxpayer has filed, they can find out if they are owed a refund in the HMRC app.
  • Help: business owners can get help if they are unable to pay their bill in full by the 31 January deadline. They may be able to set up a Time to Pay plan.

Do you need to do a self-assessment tax return?

Customers can access a new online tool on the HMRC website to check whether they need to do a self-assessment tax return. They may need to do self-assessment if, for example, they:

  • are newly self-employed and have earned over £1,000
  • are a new partner in a business partnership
  • have received any untaxed income
  • are claiming child benefit and they or their partner have an income above £50,000.

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