Self assessment customers will not receive a penalty for their late online tax return if they file by 28th February, HM Revenue and Customs’ chief executive Jim Harra has announced.
The deadline to submit a self assessment tax return is usually 31st January with late penalties applied to returns filed after the deadline.
Those that delay filing until 28th February will not receive a late filing penalty but will be charged interest from 1st February on any outstanding liabilities.
More than 8.9 million customers have already filed their tax return and HMRC is encouraging anyone who has not yet to do so by 31st January deadline, if possible.
Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their tax bill on time can apply online to spread a bill of up to £30,000 over up to 12 months. However, they will need to file their 2019-20 tax return before setting up a time to pay arrangement, so HMRC is encouraging everyone to do this as soon as possible.
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 31st 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.”
Businesses wishing to set up an online payment plan to spread self assessment bills of up to £30,000 over up to 12 monthly instalments can apply for self-serve Time to Pay via GOV.UK.
Those with bills over £30,000, or who need longer than 12 months to pay their bill, can call HMRC on 0300 200 3822 to discuss time to pay.
Anyone required to make Payments on Account, and who know their bill is going to be lower than the previous tax year, for example due to loss of earnings because of COVID-19, can reduce their Payments on Account. Visit GOV.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.