HMRC gives Self Assessment taxpayers more time to ease COVID-19 pressures

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Late filing and late payment penalties are to be waived for one month for Self Assessment taxpayers

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Self Assessment taxpayers for one month – giving them extra time, if they need it, to complete their 2020/21 tax return and pay any tax due.

HMRC is encouraging taxpayers to file and pay on time if they can, since, of the 12.2 million taxpayers who need to submit their tax return by 31 January 2022, almost 6.5 million have already done so.

However, HMRC recognises the pressure faced this year by Self Assessment taxpayers and their accountants. COVID-19 is affecting the capacity of some accountants and taxpayers to meet their obligations in time for the 31 January deadline. The penalty waivers give taxpayers who need it more time to complete and file their return online and pay the tax due without worrying about receiving a penalty.

The deadline to file and pay remains 31 January 2022. The penalty waivers will mean that:

  • anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a £100 late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February
  • anyone who cannot pay their Self Assessment tax by the 31 January deadline will not receive a 5% late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 1 April

Be aware though that late payment interest at 2.75% will still be charged from 1 February, as usual, so it is still better to pay on time if possible.

If you need more time to pay, contact HMRC to discuss a Time to Pay arrangement, which allows any individual or business who needs it the option to spread payments over an agreed period. Self Assessment taxpayers with up to £30,000 of tax debt can do this online once they have filed their return.  To set up a Time to Pay arrangement call the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822

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