Millions of Brits have hours left for tax deadline as HMRC warns of hefty fines

Millions of workers have just hours left to register as a self-assessment taxpayer with HMRC.

Self-assessment is the system HMRC uses to collect tax from Brits who don't pay it automatically from their wages. Around 12million people file a tax return every year.

They're often associated with those who are self-employed, but HMRC warned more people might need to register this year. The deadline for registering for self-assessment is 11.59pm on Thursday, October 5.

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According to data compiled by, published in May this year, around 44% of Brits had a side hustle in 2023 amid the cost of living crisis.

You could be fined by HMRC if registering late as it means you miss the tax return and tax payment deadlines. The deadline for filing a paper tax return is October 31, as for online returns it's January 31 next year.

There's a £100 fine if you're late by three months. You could also be charged more on top of this if it's later, plus interest, or if you pay the tax bill late.

According to Turn2Us, you will need to register for self assessment tax if in the last tax year:

  • Your income from self-employment was more than £1,000
  • You got more than £2,500 from renting out property
  • You got more than £2,500 in other untaxed income
  • You had a P800 from HMRC saying you did not pay enough tax last year
  • You need to prove you’re self-employed, for example, to claim Tax-Free Childcare
  • You want to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance payments to help you qualify for benefits

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There are different ways to register depending on your circumstance. You can find out more information on the GOV.UK website.

If you do need to register, you can do it online or by calling the self-assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's Director General for Customer Services, said: "If you are new to Self-Assessment and unsure how the process works – HMRC is here to help.

"We have a wealth of resources and guidance available on GOV.UK to help customers register, sign up for online services and complete their tax returns. We want to help customers get their tax right the first time, just search 'Self-Assessment' on GOV.UK to find out more."

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