Late filing penalties waived for one month to give taxpayers more time to prepare 2020/21 tax return - Thorne Widgery

Late filing and late payment penalties will be waived for one month to give taxpayers more time to prepare their 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return, it has been announced.

It means small business owners, directors, and landlords have until 28 February 2022 to submit their return without incurring penalties.

But interest – which increased from 2.6 per cent to 2.75 per cent this year – will still be payable from 01 February.

Here’s what you need to know.

When is the 2020/21 Self Assessment deadline?

The deadline to complete your tax return for the 2020 to 2021 tax year and pay tax is 31 January 2022.

What is changing?

The deadline to file and pay remains 31 January 2022, but penalties will be waived for the first month only. This means that:

  • anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February
  • anyone who cannot pay their Self Assessment tax by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 01 April.

Interest still payable

Despite waiving the late filing and payment penalty, late payment interest will still accrue from 01 February 2022, acting as an incentive to pay early.

Will late submissions make an HMRC investigation more likely?

While the new deadlines may offer taxpayers room to breathe, it should be pointed out that late submissions may attract closer scrutiny.

Covid-19 “affecting the capacity of some taxpayers to meet their obligations”

Commenting on the announcement, 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, added: “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.”

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our team today.