First deadline

If you’ve received a letter or other communication from HMRC asking you to complete a tax return for the 2020/21 tax year, you have until 31 October 2021 to do so if you intend to complete the form on paper.

Trap. A paper return submitted after 31 October will incur a financial penalty of £100. However, there are exceptions to this.


Certain groups of people are allowed to submit paper self-assessment tax returns after 31 October without being penalised. The deadline for them is the same as that for electronic filing, that is 31 January 2022. The exceptions can apply for various reasons, for example, if you have income or outgoings of the type HMRC’s tax return handling software can’t process correctly if you file electronically. HMRC’s website gives details and reasons for these exceptions.

The deadline for submitting your self-assessment tax return for 2020/21 in paper format is 31 October 2021. However, you’re allowed until 31 January to send a paper return if your circumstances fall into to the criteria on HMRC’s exception list.

This article has been reproduced by kind permission of Indicator – FL Memo Ltd. For details of their tax-saving products please visit or call 01233 653500.