HMRC waives penalties for late submission of personal tax returns

tax return

Late filing penalties waived

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, HMRC have announced that they will not be issuing penalties for the late filing of personal tax returns.  In order to help taxpayers and agents who are unable to meet the deadline, HMRC said it would not charge penalties on 2019-20 self-assessment returns submitted after the 31st January deadline, as long as they were filed by 28th February 2021.

HMRC chief executive, Jim Harra, explained;

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away,”

“But we recognise the immense pressure that many people are facing in these unprecedented times and it has become increasingly clear that some people will not be able to file their return by January 31.”

No extension for payment of tax bill

Taxpayers will still have to pay their self-assessment tax for the tax year 2018-2019 by 31st January 2021.  Anyone who has not completed their 2018-2019 return should initially pay an estimated amount based on their income.

In a nutshell

  • The usual deadline for submitting 2019-20 tax returns online would be 31st January 2021.
  • Failure to meet this would normally result in a late penalty fine of £100, with further charges kicking in if the delay extends to three months or more.
  • HMRC have extended the deadline to 28th February 2021, after which late penalties will be charged.

Our advice

We welcome the announcement as it will ease the pressure on taxpayers in what is already a stressful time for many. However, we would encourage you to file your tax return as usual by 31st January 2021, if at all possible.

Remember you must still ensure you pay your tax bill by 31st  January 2021 as interest will be charged from 1st February on any outstanding liabilities. 

If you’re having difficulty paying, you may be able to pay in monthly instalments.  You can apply for a self-serve time to pay agreement via your government gateway account, although this cannot be done until their 2019-20 tax return is submitted. 

If you need any support, please contact the team and we will do our best to help you.

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