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HMRC confirms filing tax returns early this year could mean refunds are paid sooner

By Linda Howard

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that nearly 66,500 people across the UK filed their 2021/22 tax return on the first day of the new tax year.

HMRC said that in recent years, increasing numbers of "early-bird" customers have been filing their completed self-assessment tax returns on April 6 - the date that marks the start of a new financial year.

It also said nearly 30,000 more customers filed their returns on April 6 this year than in 2018, with 66,465 people filing on April 6 2022 and as a result, they could receive any refunds due to them sooner.

HMRC said while many wait until nearer the annual filing deadline on January 31, for some it may be an opportunity to avoid the last-minute rush while they have the relevant information to hand.

Those who do file earlier may find they receive any overpaid tax refunds from the 2021/22 tax year sooner, according to HMRC.

Once a customer has filed their tax return, they can check if a repayment is due via their Personal Tax Account.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's director general for customer services, said: "You don't need to wait for the January rush to send us your tax return.

"More and more people are getting theirs out of the way early - search 'self assessment' on gov.uk to get started."

Filing your tax return

Customers can file their tax return online.

It is the quickest way to complete a Self Assessment return and it does not need to be finished in one go, as they can access their return online anytime and save their progress until it is completed and ready to submit.

HMRC has updated the Self Assessment guide to help customers navigate through the tax return process.

It includes helpful information on:

  • how to get help with your tax return
  • what to do when declaring furlough payments, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants or other COVID-19 support measures
  • what information you need before you can start completing your tax return
  • help with paying your Self Assessment tax bill
  • what to do if you have overpaid tax and are due a refund

Earnings and payments received during the pandemic will need to be reported on the tax return meaning customers must declare any grants or payments from the Covid-19 support schemes received between April 6, 20221 and April 5, 2022 as these are taxable.

This includes:

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Other Covid-19 grants and support payments
  • Any coronavirus payments incorrectly claimed

The Self Assessment deadline to file a return and pay any tax owed for the 2021 to 2022 tax year is January 31, 2023.

To keep up to date with the latest HMRC news, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter here, or subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.

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Dive Deeper:
Lanarkshire customers among thousands who filed tax returns on first available date
HMRC encouraging other people to change their filing habits and follow suit
Nearly 66,500 ‘early birds’ file returns on first day of new tax year
People are increasingly getting their tax returns in early, HM Revenue and Customs said.
Working from home: HMRC’s £125 tax break now harder to claim
As Covid crisis eases, official guidance says people cannot obtain relief if they choose to avoid office
Changes to DWP pension age means older people can't claim some benefits when they reach state pension age
Changes to the state pension age will increase it to 67 for people born on or after 1960, this could…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Boost your income before summer by claiming benefits, discounts or reductions
To combat the cost of living crisis make sure you are maximising your income and not missing out.
Older people can no longer claim these DWP benefits when they reach State Pension age
There are two benefits you may be eligible to claim now that could carry over when you reach 66.
Get all your news in one place