More than one million customers take advantage of extra time to file tax returns

More than one million customers take advantage of extra time to file tax returns

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that more than one million customers filed their late tax returns in February – taking advantage of the extra time to complete their Self Assessment without facing a penalty.

About 12.2 million customers were expected to file a return for the 2020 to 2021 tax year and more than 11.3 million customers submitted theirs by 28 February.

The deadline for submitting tax returns was 31 January but, this year, HMRC gave customers an extra month to complete it. If customers filed their returns in February, they would avoid a late filing penalty.

HMRC has given customers 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.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

We understand some customers might be worrying about paying their Self Assessment bill this year, and we want to support them. To see if you’re eligible to set up a payment plan, go to GOV.UK and search ‘pay my Self Assessment’.

Lucy Frazer, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

Today’s stats show how vital the extra month was in supporting the cash flows of more than a million self-employed people and businesses across the UK, helping to ensure their survival as we recover from the pandemic.

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.

If customers owe more than £30,000, or need longer to pay, they should call the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

Customers can now make Self Assessment payments quickly and securely through the HMRC app. Customers choosing to make secure Self Assessment payments through the HMRC app can either connect to their bank to make their payments or pay by Direct Debit, personal debit card or corporate/commercial credit/debit card.

A full list of the payment methods customers can use to pay their Self Assessment tax bill is available on GOV.UK.

HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. Customers should 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 reply directly to anything suspicious, but contact HMRC straight away and search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.

Find out more about Self Assessment

Further information

About 1.3 million customers who were expected to file by 31 January Self Assessment deadline, did not do so by 28 February.

The free HMRC app is available on either the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android. Customers will need their Government Gateway user ID and password to sign into their account for the first time.

There is no change to the filing or payment deadline and other obligations are not affected. This means that:

  • interest will be charged on late payment. The late payment interest rate is 3%
  • a return received online in February will be treated as a return received late, with a valid reasonable excuse for the lateness. This means that:
  1. there will be an extended enquiry window
  2. for returns filed after 28 February the other late filing penalties (daily penalties from 3 months, 6 and 12 month penalties) will operate as usual;
  3. a 5% late payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding, and a payment plan has not been set up, by midnight on 1 April 2022. Further late payment penalties will be charged at the usual 6 and 12 month points (August 2022 and February 2023 respectively) on tax outstanding where a payment plan has not been set up.
  • we will not charge late filing penalties for SA700s and SA970s received in February. These returns can only be filed on paper
  • for SA800s and SA900s we will not charge a late filing penalty if taxpayers file online by the end of February. The deadline for filing SA800s and SA900s on paper was 31 October. Taxpayers who file late on paper will be charged a late filing penalty in the normal way. They can appeal against this penalty if they have a reasonable excuse for filing their paper return late

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