HMRC has announced that more than 10.7 million people submitted their 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns by the 31 January deadline. This leaves over 1.8 million taxpayers that have missed the deadline and are yet to file. Are you among those that missed the 31 January 2021 filing deadline for your 2019-20 Self-Assessment returns?

HMRC had announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic, fines for taxpayers that file their Self-Assessment returns late will be waived until 28 February 2021. However, interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021 so you should try and pay your tax bill as soon as possible. If you are unable to pay your tax bill, then there are a number of options for you to defer the payment that was due on 31 January 2021.

This includes an option to set up an online time to pay payment plan to spread the cost tax due on 31 January 2021 for up to 12 months. This option is available for debts up to £30,000 and the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date of a debt. This should be done sooner rather than later as a 5% late payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding, and a payment plan has not been set up, before 3 March 2021.

If you owe Self-Assessment tax payments of over £30,000 or need longer than 12 months to pay in full, you can still apply to set up a time to pay arrangement with HMRC, but this cannot be done using the online service.

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Are you among the over 958,000 taxpayers that missed the 31 January 2020 filing deadline for 2018-19 Self-Assessment returns? If you missed the filing deadline you will be charged a £100 fixed penalty if your return is up to 3 months late, whether you owed tax or not for the 2018-19 year.

If you do not file and pay before 1 May 2020, you will face far greater penalties. A daily penalty of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900 (90 days), will be charged from 1 May 2020. Further penalties will apply if your return is still outstanding for more than 6 months after the 31 January 2020 filing deadline. From 1 August 2020, you will be charged a penalty the greater of £300 or 5% of the tax due. If your return still remains outstanding one year after the filing deadline, further penalties will be charged from 1 February 2021.

You can appeal against any penalties that have been issued and HMRC has said that they will treat appeals where tax-payers have genuine excuses, leniently. However, you need to act fast and the excuse must be genuine and HMRC can ask for evidence to support any claim. An appeal must usually be made within 30 days of receipt of the penalty.

If you need help sorting out a late return, please call. It is better to resolve any late filing issues sooner rather than later in order to reduce your exposure to interest and penalty charges. We can also help you make an appeal if you have a reasonable excuse for late filing.

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