7 Jan 2022

HMRC announces extensions for Self Assessment taxpayers

Late filing and late payment penalties are to be waived for one month for Self Assessment taxpayers.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Self Assessment taxpayers for one month – giving you extra time, if you need it, to complete your 2020 to 2021 tax return and pay any tax due. However, HMRC is encouraging taxpayers to file and pay on time if they can.

HMRC recognises that COVID-19 is affecting the capacity of some agents and taxpayers to meet their obligations in time for the 31 January deadline. The penalty waivers give taxpayers who need it more time to complete and file their return online and pay the tax due without worrying about receiving a penalty.

The deadline to file and pay remains 31 January 2022. The penalty waivers will mean that:

  • anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February
  • anyone who cannot pay their Self Assessment tax by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 1 April

Interest will be payable from 1 February, as usual, so it is still better to pay on time if possible.

The existing Time to Pay service allows any individual or business who needs it the option to spread their tax payments over time. Self Assessment taxpayers with up to £30,000 of tax debt can do this online once they have filed their return.    

The 2020 to 2021 tax return covers earnings and payments during the pandemic. Taxpayers will need to declare if they received any grants or payments from the COVID-19 support schemes up to 5 April 2021 on their Self Assessment, as these are taxable, including:

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

The £500 one-off payment for working households receiving tax credits should not be reported in Self Assessment.

Self Assessment timeline:

  • 31 January – Self Assessment deadline (filing and payment)
  • 1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills
  • 28 February – last date to file any late online tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement, to avoid a late payment penalty
  • 1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online

There is no change to the filing or payment deadline and other obligations are not affected. This means that:

  • interest will be charged on late payment. The late payment interest rate is 2.75%
  • a return received online in February will be treated as a return received late, with a valid reasonable excuse for the lateness. This means that:
  1. there will be an extended enquiry window. It is important to note that the filing deadline date itself has not been extended, rather the date that penalties are levied for late filing and payment have.  So, if you file on the 1 February HMRC will have 15 months to look into your return instead of 12 if you file on 31 January. If the return is filed late, the enquiry window is extended to 12 months following the quarter in which it is submitted (quarter dates being the end of January, April, July and October).
  2. for returns filed after 28 February the other late filing penalties (daily penalties from 3 months, 6 and 12 month penalties) will operate as usual
  3. 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 2022. Further late payment penalties will be charged at the usual 6 and 12 month points (August 2022 and February 2023 respectively) on tax outstanding where a payment plan has not been set up

Beware of fraudsters

HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. Taxpayers should always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for filing their Self Assessment return online securely and free of charge.

HMRC sees high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from the department. If in doubt, HMRC advises not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact them straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.

Our diverse team of tax specialists at Beavis Morgan, a BM Connect partner business, are available to handle your tax affairs and deal with HMRC on your behalf. We are committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.

If you have any concerns relating to your tax return or wish to discuss your tax affairs in further detail, please contact your usual BM Connect adviser.

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