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I can’t access Self Assessment online

We've updated this guide on 15th February 2021

If you’re trying to pay your tax return and you can’t access the Self Assessment online system, don’t panic! The system can be prone to issues from the volume of people logging in to pay their tax return in the final days before the deadline. 

Generally, if you’ve allowed yourself at least three working days before the 31st January deadline, you’ll be able to pay your tax return fairly easily, even if the online system is down.

Self Assessment online isn’t working

This is the nightmare situation that we all dread. When you go to pay your Self Assessment and the online system is crashing. But don’t worry. You can get around it. We’d first recommend that you look at the service status page to see if HMRC’s system is reported to not be working, or whether the problem is at your end. 

If the problem is theirs, you can appeal any late penalties you incur with evidence of the issue. 

My login details don’t work

This may be an annoying answer but double check that you’re using the right details! If you are, check the following:

  • Have you registered for Self Assessment?
  • Did HMRC send you a UTR number?
  • Try your browser on Incognito Mode
  • Try a different browser
  • If all else fails, speak to the HMRC helpline on 0300-200-3310

Speak to a traditional accountant

But bear in mind that this will be a busy period so any fees you might be charged are likely to be high. The average cost of a tax return in the UK is between £150-£250. Be mindful of this if you’re quoted any more!

Use an alternative to paying online

There are more ways to pay for your tax return. It doesn’t necessarily need to be done online. If you’re paying for any of the below services and more, you can also try by post or directly via your bank. 

  • Self-employed
  • Rental income
  • Profits from investment
  • Pension relief
  • You earn more than £100,000

To pay by post, you can send a paying-in slip addressed to HMRC, Direct, BX5 5BD. The cheque is payable to HM Revenue and Customs only. You should also include your UTR number.

If HMRC have already sent you a paying-in split to pay them direct, you can fill out the details and pay them by cash or cheque at your bank. When you include your UTR number, you’ll have to add a ‘K’ at the end of it when you pay by this method. 

Try TaxScouts for you Self Assessment online…

And finally, the method we’ve all been waiting for.

At TaxScouts, taking the hassle and stress out of tax returns is our speciality. Our turnaround is quick (roughly 2-3 days once we’ve got all of your information), however we’d still advise that you give as much of a wide berth as you can. 

We’ll do your Self Assessment tax return for you online for a flat fee of £119. 

But however smart the method of doing your tax return you choose, give yourself a working week before the deadline at least. Things can go wrong and the penalties can be steep!

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