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There's been a lot of noise around Making Tax Digital (MTD) in recent months, but one thing remains clear: a lot of people still prefer to submit their Self Assessment via paper returns.

For these individuals, autumn brings more than a change in the weather. There's also the looming deadline for submitting your tax return to HMRC. If you tend to send your tax return by post, you'll need to act fast to get your affairs in order.

But don't worry: we've got some guidance to ease you through the process, as well as expert advice that might alleviate the pressure altogether.

Understanding the deadline for Self Assessment paper returns

Although paper tax returns are going to be phased out over the next few years, you can still submit your Self Assessment by post for the 2016-17 financial year. The deadline for this is the 31st October, although you’ll need to register by the 5th October if you don’t already have a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

Let us remind you that it’s only for paper-based submissions… the deadline for online tax returns isn’t until midnight on the 31st January. The government needs more time to sort through paper evidence, which is why they ask for a closer mark on the calendar.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone who needs to complete a tax return can do so via HMRC’s online calculator – a notable exception being Ministers of Religion (MoRs). For this reason, many people are forced to scramble for early submission on the 31st October, to ensure they don’t miss the window for declaring their earnings and expenses.

Watch our FREE webinar "Helping Landlords with their Self Assessment"

How to stay calm and lessen the stress

If you’re starting to panic about the October deadline, don’t. Paper returns may seem to be the only option, but there’s an easier way to finish all of this to the expected standards.

By switching over to cloud-based tax return software, like SimpleTax, you can cut the paper deadline out entirely, without the headaches that come with HMRC’s online tool. Our clever resource makes it easy to submit your tax return online, and ensure you pay no more than you owe.

SimpleTax streamlines the Self Assessment form, automatically calculating your liabilities and identifying allowable expenses. It also gives you access to a host of forms that aren’t available through HMRC’s online calculator, including the SA102M for MoRs.

So the benefits of SimpleTax are twofold: not only do you get to bypass the line in the Self Assessment sands for October, aiming instead for the 31st January deadline; your details are saved for the next tax period, removing the hassle of storage and administration. It’s a clear, concise and intelligent method for ensuring you paying what you really owe.

Discover SimpleTax to unlock a direct online channel to HMRC, as well as all the requisite forms for submission. Beat the deadline blues before they ever become a problem, or contact our team for advice. Trust us – the paper route is less than your finances deserve…

Tax Returns Deadlines

  • Register for Self Assessment if you're self-employed or a sole trader, not self-employed, or registering a partner or partnership: 5 October 2017
  • Paper tax returns: Midnight - 31 October 2017
  • Online tax returns: Midnight - 31 January 2018
  • Pay the tax you owe: Midnight - 31 January 2018


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By Sandra Mpouma
04 Oct 2017

Categories: Tax, Buy to Let



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