You are here: Home - Saving & Banking - News -

No instant penalty for late tax return filers

0
Written by:
25/01/2021
HMRC has confirmed it will delay automatic late filing penalties for self-assessment users who miss the 31 January 2021 deadline.

As long as tax returns are filed online by Sunday 28 February 2021, self-assessment users won’t be hit with an automatic £100 fine for missing the 31 January deadline.

However, self-assessment customers will still be obliged to pay their tax bill by 31 January. Interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities. Customers can pay online, or via their bank, or by post before they file.

For those who can’t afford to pay their tax bill on time, they can apply to spread the payments over a 12-month period. But they will need to file their 2019/20 tax return before setting up a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement.

So far, nearly nine million people have filed their tax return but HMRC estimated 12 million are due this year, leaving three million still outstanding in the last week before deadline.

It added that “it has become increasingly clear from the filing rate that some taxpayers and agents cannot file on time”.

‘Breathing space’

HMRC’s chief executive, Jim Harra, said: “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 31 January.

“Not charging late filing penalties for late online tax returns submitted in February will give them the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty.

“We can reasonably assume most of these people will have a valid reason for filing late, caused by the pandemic.”

Normally, late filing penalties are applied to all returns filed after the 31 January deadline. Penalties can be cancelled if a filer has a reasonable excuse for submitting their return late.

HMRC has previously said it was keeping the situation closely under review after reports emerged it that filers could use coronavirus as a way to appeal the £100 penalty as part of the ‘reasonable excuse policy’.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week