Ready for the Online Self Assessment deadline?

31st Jan - Online Assessment deadlineIf you need to complete a Tax Return for the tax year ended 5 April 2008 and haven’t started thinking about it yet, now is probably a good time.

The deadline for completing your online Self Assessment (SA) Tax Return is 31 January 2009. But if this is the first year that you have done your Tax Return online, you need to register for HM Revenue & Custom’s (HMRC) Online Services and allow about 7 days to receive your Activation PIN by post before you can get started.

As the 31 October deadline for completing a Tax Return on paper has already passed you should now complete it online. If you do not submit your Tax Return online by 31 January 2009 you may get a penalty. But the good news is, doing it online means you can do it whenever is convenient for you – in 2007 over 400 people chose to do theirs on Christmas Day!

Don’t have an Activation PIN? Don’t worry…

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to register to use HMRC’s Online Services before you can complete your Tax Return. Just visit, click on Self Assessment in the ‘do it online’ menu and follow the simple steps. You will need to activate your account with your Activation PIN which will be sent to you by post about 7 days after registering. As it is a two-step process, the sooner you start the better.

Where do I find out more?

There’s help and advice available at every point if you need it. Have a look at HMRC’s simple ‘Step by Step’ guide to Self Assessment at

What are the benefits of completing your Tax Return online?

HMRC’s Online Service for Self Assessment makes doing your Tax Return easier by

  • adapting in response to your answers to questions about your income and circumstances, removing irrelevant sections of the Tax Return, thus saving you time and effort
  • checking the Tax Return as you complete it and highlighting any errors so that you can correct them as you go
  • doing your tax calculation for you automatically so that you will know how much you have to pay right away
  • enabling any tax refund to be made to you more quickly as the information goes directly into HMRC’s computer system, which in many cases can authorise and issue the repayment automatically
  • saving your data safely so that if you have to stop part-way through, you can return to it later providing an on screen message confirming that your Tax Return has been safely received being available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Remember, you need to register for HMRC’s Online Services by 21 January 2009 to be sure of receiving your Activation PIN in time.

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