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Warning to the self-employed: do your taxes!

WE REMIND self-employed members of the deadline to fill in a tax return online for tax year April 2019-April 2020. You can do this online via the HMRC website.You have until 31 January 2021 to do this - so the deadline's not all that far away, then. There are automatic three-figure fines for failing to submit your tax return by the deadline. So get a move on.

Old Inland Revenue office in Ipswich; Matt Salusbury

Letterboxes at a now-disused Inland Revenue tax office in Ipswich

Yes, because of covid-19 self-employed people have in some cases been given more time to pay the taxes that are due, but the 31 January deadline to submit a tax return remains unchanged.

If you became self-employed in tax year 2019-2020 you need to register with HMRC and get a password for the Government Gateway portal for online tax returns and also get a Unique Tax Reference number. Contact the HMRC inquiry line on 0300 200 3300 now as you'll need a password sent to you by post before you can start using HMRC's online portal to file a tax return.

There's an HMRC covid helpline for businesses and the self-employed facing hardship due to the pandemic - the number is 0800 024 1222.

There's a tax seminar that's free to NUJ members on 22 October - details are here.

Self-employed EU nationals resident in the UK who haven't yet applied for the EU Settled Status scheme should note that their application will be based largely on HMRC data. Such data will be important to "evidence your residence" - establish that you've lived continuously in the UK for five years. If you're an EU national whose tax records still aren't up to date, seek guidance now.

  • The Freelance is not qualified to give financial advice.