Despite some rumours to the contrary, HMRC have said they won’t be extending the 31st January self assessment deadline, or waiving late filing penalties.
However they have made some concessions to taxpayers who are late filing their personal tax returns because of delays related to the pandemic
Covid disruption a reasonable excuse for delay
HMRC has acknowledged that some taxpayers and agents may not be able to file on time due to the impact of the coronavirus.
Individuals in such a situation should get their tax returns in as soon as they can but will not be penalised if they can prove they need more time due to Covid.
Although HMRC has ruled out a blanket waiver of late filing penalties, it will may accept pandemic-related disruption caused to the taxpayer’s business or their personal circumstances as a reasonable excuse.
They will receive a penalty notice, but those affected or their agent will be able to contact HMRC to get it cancelled.
HMRC will also extend the appeal period from one to three months to give people additional time.
Pressure to delay deadline
HMRC rejected a joint call from the UK’s accountancy bodies to waive late filing penalties entirely for a short period after 31st January.
HMRC’s Chief Executive said that this would “complicate” HMRC’s self assessment message and would “send a blanket signal that it is ok to file late.”
Mr. Harra clarified that this could have some “serious disadvantages” for taxpayers.
He said: “De-coupling the payment and filing dates might confuse customers, and even lead to non-payment, interest accruing and late payments being triggered”.
He also added that it would encourage some taxpayers to file late when they don’t really need to.
Self assessment through Boox
The Boox Tax Team is currently completing self assessments for tax year April 6th 2019 to April 5th 2020 and we are working to the usual HMRC deadline of 31st January 2021 for both filing and payment.
If you have not yet filed a self assessment tax return and need to do so, get in touch and we will do our best to help.
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