Member FAQs – Filing your self-assessment tax return, how can IPSE help?

This time of year is always stressful for the self-employed as they try to complete their self-assessment tax returns before the usual submission deadline of 31st January, pulling together all of your invoices and receipts from the year can often be a struggle. IPSE is here to make sure you have the information and advice you need to ensure that filing your return is as pain free as possible.


In response to the coronavirus pandemic, HMRC last year brought in measures aimed at helping those struggling to submit their returns or pay on time. They introduced a ‘Time to Pay’ scheme allowing freelancers to spread their tax bill over the course of the year and they also relaxed some of the rules surrounding the self-assessment submission deadline meaning that you had an extra month to make your submission without being penalised.

We are pleased that the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme remains in place and, after we called for it, the government announced on last week that, while they are not technically extending the deadline for submissions, once again no penalty will be applied to returns filed on or before the 28th February. Returns submitted late are usually subject to a £100 penalty, which this year will not apply until March.

31st January is also the deadline to pay your self-assessment tax, failure to do so by this date normally results in a penalty of 5% of the tax unpaid and it has been announced that this penalty will not apply to tax bills settled by 1st April. Interest on unpaid tax will however continue to accumulate from 1st February so government advice is still to file your return and pay on time if you can.

If you are struggling to pay in full and want to apply for the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme or find out more about the changes to submissions and payment deadlines you can do so online via the HMRC website.

If you do have any concerns about these changes or any other issues relating to your tax return then a crucial benefit of your IPSE membership is access to our expert advice.

For queries about the paperwork, what to include and exclude, or the implications of the deadline extension, your IPSE membership provides you with access to our Tax and Contract helpline, staffed with tax experts ready to assist you, just a phone call away.

You can find the Tax and Contract helpline number in the My IPSE area when logged into the website.

As always, if you have any questions about the above or any aspect of your IPSE membership, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the membership team either by email at [email protected] or by phone on 0208 897 9970.

Meet the author

Patrick Carter

Membership co-ordinator at IPSE