Warning to the self-employed: do your taxes!

YOU'VE already missed the deadline to send in a tax return on paper for tax year April 2018-April 2019. Now you can only do your tax return for that period via www.bit.ly/FL-HMRC online. You have until 31 January 2020 to do this. There are automatic three-figure fines for failing to submit your tax return by the deadline. So get a move on.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs' brass plate

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs' "brass plate"

If you became self-employed in tax year 2018-2019 you need to register with HMRC and get a password for the Government Gateway portal for online tax returns and also get a Unique Tax Reference number. Contact the HMRC enquiry line on 0300 200 3300 now as you'll need a password sent to you by post before you can start using HMRC's online portal to file a tax return.

You may also want to take the opportunity now, before the January rush, to find out whether there are any gaps you need to fill with your "Class 2" National Insurance (NI) contributions. If you've neglected to pay voluntary "Class 2s" via your tax return for any period, the resulting holes in your NI history will affect your state pension entitlements.

Self-employed EU nationals resident in the UK who haven't yet applied for the EU Settled Status scheme should note that their application will be based largely on HMRC data. Such data will be important to "evidence your residence" - establish that you've lived continuously in the UK for five years. If you're an EU national whose tax records aren't up to date, seek guidance now.

  • The Freelance is not qualified to give financial advice.