HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that the late filing self-assessment penalties will be waived for one month for the 2020/21 tax return and pay any tax due.
Covid is affecting some people to meet their legal obligations in time for the 31 January deadline.
Anyone who is unable to pay for the self-assessment by 31 January will not receive a late payment fine if it is paid in full, or you can set up a time to pay by arrangement until 1 April.
From the 1 February interest will be charge on any amounts that are outstanding, so it is best to pay on time, HMRC have said.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, said, “We know the pressures individuals and businesses are again facing this year, due to the impacts of Covid-19.
“Our decision to waive penalties for one month for self-assessment taxpayers will give them extra time to meet their obligations without worrying about receiving a penalty.”
Lucy Frazer, financial secretary to the Treasury, said, “We recognise that Omicron is putting people under pressure, so we are giving millions of people more breathing space to manage their tax affairs.
“Waiving late filing and payment penalties will help ease financial burdens and protect livelihoods as we navigate the months ahead.”
Frank Haskew, head of taxation strategy at the ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), said, “We have been urging HMRC to give self-assessment taxpayers and their agents more time, so we are very pleased with this decision which will help people and tax agents who are dealing with continued disruption caused by Covid-19.”
The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)’s director of public policy John Cullinane said, “Today’s announcement shows HMRC have listened and acted on the concerns of our tax adviser members who report increased pressures on their workloads and significant staff absences because of the impact of the Covid pandemic, particularly the Omicron variant which is widespread during the peak filing period.”
He added, “Taxpayers should beware that this is not a deferral of the tax return deadline itself. Where possible, taxpayers should continue to file their return and pay any tax due by January 31, as interest will still accrue from February 1.”