Time is running out for the 1.5 million taxpayers who still need to file their self assessment tax return and avoid a £100 penalty, HMRC has warned
HMRC extended the deadline for completing 2020/21 tax returns to 28 February, deferring late filing penalties for a second year.
About 12.2m taxpayers are expected to file a tax return for 2020/21 tax year and more than 10.2 million were received by 31 January. This still leaves 1.5m tax returns which need to be completed.
HMRC has given taxpayers until 1 April to pay their outstanding tax bill or set up a time to pay arrangement to avoid receiving a late payment penalty. Interest has been applied to all outstanding balances since 1 February.
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. Almost 100,000 people have used this service since April last year, spreading the cost of their tax bill into manageable monthly instalments.
For anyone who owes more than £30,000, or needs longer to pay, they should call the self assessment payment helpline on 0300 200 3822.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: ‘There is one week left to complete your tax return if you haven’t done so already. And for anyone who is worried about paying their tax bill, there is support available – search ‘pay my self assessment’ on gov.uk.”
From 22 February, taxpayers will be able to make self assessment payments quickly and securely through the HMRC app either connecting to their bank to make their payments or pay by direct debit, personal debit card or corporate/commercial credit/debit card.
The 2020/21 tax return covers earnings and payments during the pandemic. Taxpayers need to declare Covid-19 grants and support payments up to 5 April 2021 on their self assessment, as these are taxable, including:
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS);
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and
- other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme
The £500 one-off payment for working households receiving tax credits should not be reported in self assessment.
Kevin Sefton, CEO of untied, said: ‘We urge affected taxpayers to take control of their tax returns now to avoid adding an extra £100 to their tax bill. Even if individuals think they have a reasonable excuse for filing late, it’s still best to file returns as soon as you can possibly do so and then contact HMRC later about appealing any penalty.’
HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. It is important to always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for filing their self assessment return online securely and free of charge. HMRC sees high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from the department. If you’re in doubt, do not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but contact HMRC straight away and search gov.uk for ‘HMRC scams’.