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Whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company owner, you have to complete a self-assessment tax return every year by 31st January.

First of all, it’s important that you know whether you actually need to submit this information to HMRC. If you fall into one of the following categories, you will have to file a self-assessment return:

  • Self-employed (sole trader) who has earned over £1,000 in the tax year
  • A partner in a business partnership
  • Receive rental income
  • Receive income from savings, investments and dividends
  • Want to claim certain tax reliefs
  • Receive child benefits and your or your partner’s income was over £50,000
  • Have sold assets in the tax year, such as additional properties or shares

If you are eligible for filing a return and miss out on Simple Assessment tax, then you can consult our guide to filing a self-assessment tax return.

Penalties and Fines If You Miss the Deadline Entirely

As a busy business owner or sole trader it can be time consuming to fill out a self-assessment form. As result, many people leave their tax return to the last minute. As self-assessment tax accountants we help many people who come to us at this stage to get their returns in quickly. However, not everyone makes the return deadline and as a result penalties are received.

If you qualify for self-assessment tax but don’t submit your return by the 31st of January, you have to pay:


Penalties for Late Return of Self-Assessment

1 February

(1 day late)

1 May

(3 months late)

1 August

(6 months late)

1 February

(1 year late)

 £100 from the 1st of February

£10 a day up to a maximum of £900 for every date the return is late

£300 fine or 5% of the tax owing (whichever is greater)

Another £300 or 5% of the tax owing (whichever is greater)

Penalties for Late Payment of Tax Owing

1 March

(30 days late)

1 August

(6 months late)

1 February

(1 year late)

5% charge on the tax owing on that day

5% charge on the tax owing on that day

5% charge on the tax owing on that day


Check out our calendar for contractors and freelancers to see if you’re on top of other key deadlines.

How Gorilla Accounting Can Help

Tax legislation is always changing so keeping up with current regulations and understanding what to submit to the taxman can be a challenge. To meet the tax return deadline, however, contractors and freelancers, no matter which industry sector they work in, have to ensure all information is sent correctly and on time.

Otherwise, you will incur penalties and fines.

If you’ve missed the self-assessment deadline, be it because you don’t have an accountant and didn’t know what to do, or your current accountant missed it on your behalf, Gorilla Accounting can help.

We are contractor accountants with many years of experience, having helped countless contractors and freelancers prepare and file their self-assessment, even late submissions, so you can rest assured you’re in great hands.

So, despite the fact that you will have to immediately pay a £100 fine, you can still avoid a costlier problem by handling the matter at once. For just £110 + VAT (and no contract), Gorilla Accounting can sort this out for you.


You can switch accountants easily and give us a call on 0330 041 6095 if you’re unsure how to proceed. You can also send us a general enquiry to request a call back or talk to us via the chat function on our website. The quicker you get in touch, the lower the risk of getting fined and the more money you can save.