What will I need to pay in my return?
By 31 January, you will need to pay:
- Any tax owed from 2017/18.
- The first half of tax owed for 2018/19. Most self-assessment payers must also pay the first half of what’s called a ‘payment on account’ for the 2018/19 tax year.
This is half the total expected tax due for 2018/19, which is estimated based on what you earned and paid in tax the previous year. So if you owed £2,000 for 2017/18, the first payment on account will be for £1,000, to be paid by 31 January 2019.
The next half (£1,000 in the example above) must be paid by 31 July 2019, and come 31 January 2020, you’ll settle 2018/19’s tax bill, as you’re doing now for 2017/18.
If you don’t think you’ll earn as much money, you can ask for your payment on account to be reduced, but you’ll have to give a valid reason, such as an expected drop in profits or a change in circumstances.
You only have to make payments on account if your previous year’s tax came to more than £1,000. But if you’ve already paid more than 80% of that figure – for example, through your tax code or because your bank’s deducted interest on your savings – you won’t owe a payment on account.
HMRC will usually send you a self-assessment statement that shows how much you owe, or you can check your tax bill online.