Additional reprieve has been announced for tax payers who are required to file self assessment tax returns.
HMRC have confirmed a filing extension deadline for the 2019/2020 Tax Return.
Tax payers now have until 28th February 2021 (extended from 31st January 2021) to file their Tax Return with HMRC.
Interest will accrue on unpaid taxes, which is currently 2.6% per annum.
While HMRC’s still charging interest on late payments, as normal if you’ve a reasonable excuse for not paying your tax on time, contact it and explain. This is usually something unexpected or outside your control that stopped you meeting a tax obligation. For example:
- Your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline.
- You had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs.
- You had a serious or life-threatening illness.
- Your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return.
- Issues with HMRC’s online services.
- A fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return.
HMRC has said if you’re unable to file your tax return by 28 February due to a coronavirus-related problem, it may waive the £100 fine you’d face then, though it’s not been specific about what scenarios this might include.
HMRC have further announced that the additional 5% penalty on the amount of outstanding tax at 1st April 2021 will be waived if the taxpayer has filed their 200 Tax Return and either:
- provided the taxpayer enters into a time to pay arrangement with HMRC by this date (dedicated number: 0300 200 3822)
- sets up a payment plan online to help them manage the cost of their tax bill up to £30,000. Taxpayers will be able to pay their tax bill in monthly instalments, up to January 2022
A 5% late payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding, and a payment plan has not been set up, by midnight on 1 April 2021. Further late payment penalties are charged at 6 and 12 months (August 2021 and February 2022 respectively), on tax outstanding where a payment plan has not been set up
Self-Assessment taxpayers who are required to make Payments on Account, and know their 2020 to 2021 tax bill is going to be lower than in 2019 to 2020 – for example due to loss of earnings because of COVID-19 – can reduce their Payments on Account
HMRC has a tool which can help – but you’ll need to have a rough idea of your income. Its Estimate income tax for a previous year tool will give a rough estimate for what you owe for 2019/20. It asks you to enter ‘earnings’, but HMRC says it will produce an estimate if you include your income from other sources too. You’ll also need to give other info, such as interest you’ve earned and Gift Aid donations you’ve made, and it will calculate a rough figure.
Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams which can be sent via email, telephone calls and text.
When in doubt, do not respond to the email and either contact HMRC directly, or your accountant.
HMRC have also released information specifically on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact.
You can also Follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s 6 essential steps to keep yourself and your business secure online by visiting CyberAware.gov.uk
If you require assistance in filing your Tax Return, do get in touch and one of our friendly teams members would be happy to have a chat with you.