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Fines scrapped for late submission of Self-Assessment tax returns, but taxes still payable by 31 January

The official deadline to submit your return falls on January 31, 2021, which does not leave much time for those who have not yet done so.

HMRC has now extended the deadline for submission of 2019-20 tax returns to 28 February.

Providing that tax returns are filed online by 28 February 2021, HMRC have confirmed that self-assessment customers will not be subject to a late filing penalty. Usually, a late filing penalty of £100 is applied to all returns filed after the January 31 deadline.

HMRC said “It has become increasingly clear from the filing rate that some taxpayers and agents cannot file on time, and the department has now determined that ensuring no customers will receive late filing penalties if they file online before the end of February is the best way to help them.”

Tax still payable by 31 January

Whilst the new extension will come as a welcome relief to many, taxpayers are still required to pay their Self-Assessment tax bill by the 31 January deadline, and HMRC says interest will be charged from February 1 on any outstanding liabilities.

Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay the bill in one lump sum can apply online for deferred payments. This gives the opportunity to spread the outgoings over a 12-month period, making the payments more manageable during this difficult time.

More information can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/no-self-assessment-late-filing-penalty-for-those-who-file-online-by-28-february

Individuals who owe more than £30,000 in tax, or who need longer than 12 months to pay off the sum, should call HMRC and discuss Time to Pay. On Saturday, the Self-Assessment phone helpline will be running from 8am to 6pm, and from 9am to 6pm on Sunday, January 31. The telephone number is 0300 200 3822.

If you need our advice get in touch.


The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Posted by Lisa Wilson
27th January, 2021
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