HMRC has confirmed that it will waive fines for 2019/20 Self Assessment returns that miss the filing deadline of 31 January 2021, as long as they are filed online by 28 February 2021.
Normally a failure to meet the January deadline results in an automatic £100 penalty.
At the time of writing, some 3 million taxpayers have yet to file their 2019/20 return; about 950,000 people filed their 2018/19 returns late.
This is the first time in the 24 year history of Self Assessment that late-filing penalties have been waived en masse.
Taxpayers should note that HMRC will still charge interest from 1 February 2021 on any outstanding tax liabilities; late payment attracts a fine of 5 percent of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six and twelve months after the 31 January deadline.
Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay the tax due on 31 January can apply for a Time to Pay arrangement, spreading the outstanding tax over a number of instalments; this can be done online if the total outstanding tax is less than £30,000 and the taxpayer is not already in a special repayment arrangement. However, the taxpayer must file their 2019/20 Self Assessment return before setting up such an arrangement.
Contact us for assistance with your Self Assessment affairs.