Andy Froggatt of Royston Parkin offers advice on planning ahead for your tax payments and finding easier ways to pay.

Monday, January 16, 2023 marks Blue Monday – the third Monday in January is regarded as the most depressing day of the year. Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall says so.

Accountants have been theorising for many years as to which day in January is the worst. January 31 is the deadline for submission of personal tax returns and payment of tax due for tax year 2021/22 and payment on account for 2022/23.

Before then, accountants have been sorting out and submitting returns for all our last-minute clients that let us have the information late. Our lives have been made easier by using online portals/signatures, rather than the old days of having lines of clients waiting to sign their returns or us having to drive around to get a signature. We don’t talk anymore of the clients that pre-signed their tax returns for figures to be entered later. I am sure no accountants ever took advantage of that!

Below are some notes from HMRC:

The deadline for customers to submit their tax returns for the 2021/2022 tax year and pay any tax owed is January 31, 2023 and HMRC is encouraging anyone yet to complete their return to do it early.

Those who have already completed their self-assessment know what they owe and can budget to make payments on time.

Filing early also means customers who are unable to pay their tax bill in full by the deadline will have plenty of time to access support and advice on GOV.UK. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan.


In the 12 months to April 5, 2022, almost 142,000 customers were choosing to use self-serve Time to Pay to pay any tax owed for the 2020/2021 tax year, spreading the cost of around £475 million into monthly instalments.

Using HMRC’s self-serve Time to Pay facility means customers benefit from a tailored payment plan via monthly direct debits. This means they can spread the cost of their tax bill based on how much is owed and the length of time they need to pay. Self-assessment customers can apply on GOV.UK if they:

  • have filed their tax return for the 2021/2022 tax year
  • owe less than £30,000
  • can pay in full within 12 months

If customers owe more than £30,000, or need longer to pay, they should call the Self-Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

I shall not comment on how irritating I find it that HMRC refer to us as ‘customers’ rather than ‘taxpayers’. I believe the word ‘customer’ suggests some element of choice! Regardless of what HMRC choose to call us, when it comes to our tax affairs, we sadly cannot choose not to engage with HMRC.

I would also point out the January payment does include a payment on account for tax year 2022/23, if your taxable income/profits in 2022/23 are going to be less than in 2021/22 then we can apply to reduce the payment on account to match the reduced income.

For any of you that haven’t completed your tax return for 2022 and need a hand, please do call or email me. I will be happy to assist in completion of your tax return, provide advice and guidance on the compliance for 2022 tax return submissions, and discuss the 2022/23 income and ways to manage the tax due on the year we are in now. More tips will be in our March article, but the main one will still be talk to me!