The official deadline for filing a Self Assessment tax return for 2019-20 was 31 January 2021. However, in a last-minute move, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) extended the Self Assessment filing deadline to the 28 February 2021. In this article, we look at the extension to the deadline and highlight key dates and issues you need to be aware of.
Those who file their Self Assessment tax return late, but before the 28 February 2021, will not receive a late filing penalty. HMRC determined that many people were struggling to meet the deadline and would require more time, Chief Executive Jim Harra said:
“Not charging late filing penalties for late online tax returns submitted in February will give [people] 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.”
HMRC have encouraged as many people as possible to file as early as they can and noted that there is still an obligation to pay any tax owed by 31 January 2021. If taxpayers do not pay the tax owed on time, interest will be applied from 1 February 2021. As a result, while you may have been unable to file a tax return on time, you should still make a payment if you can. You can also apply to pay your tax bill over the course of the next 12 months if you cannot afford to pay it all at once. However, you must have filed a tax return to set up a time to pay arrangement.
If you have missed the deadline of 31 January for filing your return, you will not receive a late filing penalty so long as you file online by 28 February. However, you will be charged interest on the outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.
If you file your Self Assessment tax return after 28 February 2021, you will be charged a late filing penalty of £100. If you file more than three months after the deadline, you may be charged more.
You may also be charged a late payment penalty where you fail to pay the outstanding balance by 2 March, or you have not set up a time to pay arrangement by this date.
If you wish to avoid difficulties associated with late filing and payment, we recommend submitting your return early in future. There are many benefits to filing your return early, including that you can seek proper tax planning advice and take advantage of wealth management strategies. Our experienced tax advisors can help. Read our article here.
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