HMRC Suspends Late Filing Tax Penalties Until 28 February

It’s your last chance to file your tax return as HMRC has waived late filing penalties on UK tax returns as long as they are submitted before the 28th February.

Due to mounting pressure from professional bodies, HMRC announced at the end of January they would effectively extend the UK tax return deadline until the 28th February 2021. The Chef Executive from HMRC, Jim Harra, is quoted to have said this move will “give [taxpayers] the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty”.

Harra is urging those who have not yet completed their tax return to make the most of the extended deadline and complete their return before the end of this month to avoid any late penalty charges. Harra went on to admit that due to the immense pressure of these unprecedented times people have been unable to find tome to submit their tax returns by the usual January deadline and is urging those who have not yet filed their to do so immediately. Harra continued, “We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away”.

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Many professional bodies have welcomed the extension

Phil Hall at ATT has said, “This decision will help millions of taxpayers and also relieves some of the pressure on an incredibly busy accountancy sector who are doing their utmost to support individual taxpayers and businesses.”

As the impact of Covid-19 continues, taxpayers can also now dodge the first 5% surcharge as long as they pay their tax or set up a time to pay arrangement or a payment plan by 1 April 2021. Taxpayers have until 28 February to file any late tax returns and to prevent being charged a late filing penalty of £100. They then have until 1 April to pay any outstanding tax or make a time to pay arrangement and sidestep a late payment penalty.

Harra has urged anyone who cannot make their payments or are worried about paying their tax bill to set up payment plans to spread the cost into instalments that could run into 2022. More than 97,260 taxpayers have already set up a self-serve time to pay arrangements online.

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