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

by Gavin Hooker

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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 to 2021 tax return and pay any tax due.

HMRC is encouraging taxpayers to file and pay on time if they can, as the department reveals that, 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.

HMRC recognises the pressure faced this year by Self-Assessment taxpayers and their agents. COVID-19 is affecting the capacity of some agents 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 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 late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 1 April

Interest will be payable from 1 February, as usual, so it is still better to pay on time if possible.

See: HMRC gives Self Assessment taxpayers more time to ease COVID-19 pressures - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you cannot afford to pay your latest bill then you can set up a time to pay payment plan to spread the cost of your latest Self-Assessment bill if all the following apply:

  • you owe £30,000 or less
  • you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • your tax returns are up to date
  • it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You can choose how much to pay straight away and how much you want to pay each month. You will have to pay interest.

See: Pay your Self Assessment tax bill - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The content in this blog is correct as at 10 January 2022.

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