Online only

Gentle tax reminder

IF YOU still want to fill in and send your 2016-2017 tax return on paper, it needs to arrive (completed) with HMRC by post by 31 October 2017. You can download and print it here and then fill it in and send it off. We've heard that if your date of birth is sometime before the late 1940s, they'll still automatically send you a paper tax return by post unless you've already sent them one filled in online.

Old Inland Revenue office in Ipswich; Matt Salusbury

Letterboxes at a now disused Inland Revenue tax office in Ipswich

Otherwise, do your tax return online, in which case you've got much longer - until 31 January 2018 for the 2016-2017 tax return. You can now only get proof that you've sent a tax return with a tax return filed online.

If you're unsure of your Government Gateway password to access your HMRC account and start filing your tax return online, sort it out now.

If you became self-employed in tax year 2016-2017 and haven't yet registered with HMRC for online tax returns, contact your local tax office now as you'll need to get a password sent to you by post for security reasons before you can start using HMRC's online portal. HMRC warn that this can take up to a few weeks, although in the Freelance's experience, the password's actually arrived sooner.

HMRC's website has been known to crash under the sheer volume of submitted tax returns in the run up to the 31 January deadline, while there are automatic three-figure fines for failing to submit your tax return by the deadline. So don't say we didn't warn you.