beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Returns: individuals returns: filing dates

If a return is issued in the period 6 April to 31 July following the end of the year to which the return relates, the filing dates are

  • 31 October if a paper tax return is filed


  • 31 January if a tax return is filed online

Late issued returns

The minimum filing period for a tax return remains at three months from the date notice is given to the taxpayer. Thus any return issued after 31 July will be regarded as a late issued return.

The filing date for a late issued return is the later of

  • 31 October if filing on paper


  • 31 January if filing online


  • Three months from the date of issue of the return

Note: In practice, the computer system allows three months and seven days, to allow for printing, issue and postal delivery times.

For example

  • For a return issued on 10 August, the paper filing date would be 17 November (which is later than the normal 31 October paper filing date), and the online filing date would remain as 31 January (which is later than 3 months and 7 days)
  • For a return issued on 10 November, the filing date is 17 February, regardless of whether a paper or an online return is filed (the three months and seven days filing date is later than either of the normal dates)

Deferred filing dates

In exceptional circumstances (for example because of major illness), the filing date for a return may be deferred. As the method of filing the return is not known until receipt of the return, the return cannot be deemed as late until the online filing date has passed.

In a case where the filing date for a paper return is deferred to a date after the normal online filing date (31 January), the online filing date must also be deferred accordingly.

For example

  • Where the filing date for a paper return is deferred to 17 February, the filing date for an online return must also be deferred to 17 February (as this is later than either of the normal dates)

Use function MAINTAIN RETURN SUMMARY to enter a deferred filing date for the relevant return year.