Whilst HMRC has announced that it is waiving late filing and late payment penalties on self-assessment tax returns for one month, those required to submit a self-assessment tax return are being urged not to use this as an excuse to delay.
Of the 12 million tax payers required to submit a tax return by 31st January, only around half had done so by 6th January, leading HMRC to issue the extension to the traditional end of January deadline.
However, in announcing the waiving of penalties until the end of February, effectively giving tax payers an extra month to submit and pay, HMRC also encouraged individuals to submit and pay on time if they can. Whilst penalties are being waived for this brief period, interest will continue to be calculated from 1st February, so if you can submit and settle before the traditional deadline it is prudent to do so.
Covid still having an impact
Aware that covid is still causing issues for individuals and their agents/accountants, HMRC hoped the extra time would give people the opportunity to meet their obligations 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, as long as 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 2022.
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.