Four million still to file ahead of Self Assessment deadline

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Making Tax Digital

Four million customers are yet to submit their completed Self Assessment tax return and pay any tax owed ahead of the deadline on 31 January, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned.

HMRC has urged these customers to file their tax return, pay any outstanding liabilities or set up a payment plan ahead of the deadline as interest will be applied to all outstanding balances from 1 February.

More than 12.2 million customers are expected to complete a tax return for the 2020/21 tax year.

Earlier this month, HMRC has announced they would waive penalties for one month for late filing of tax returns and late payments.

“We know some customers may struggle to meet the Self Assessment deadline on 31 January which is why we have waived penalties for one month, giving them extra time to meet their obligations, Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said.

“And if anyone is worried about paying their tax bill, they can set up a monthly payment plan online – search ‘pay my Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK.”

The changes mean anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file by 28 February and anyone who cannot pay their tax liabilities 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.

As there is no change to the filing or payment deadline and other obligations are not affected, interest will be charged on late payment, at the rate 2.75 per cent.

The existing Time to Pay service allows any individual or business who needs it the option to spread their tax payments over time. Self Assessment taxpayers with up to £30,000 of tax debt can do this online once they have filed their return.

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

The 2020/21 tax return covers earnings and payments during the pandemic. Taxpayers will need to declare if they received any grants or payments from the Covid-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021 on their Self Assessment, as these are taxable, including Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other Covid-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Self Assessment timeline:

  • 31 January – Self Assessment deadline (filing and payment)
  • 1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills
  • 28 February – last date to file any late online tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement, to avoid a late payment penalty
  • 1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online