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Despite the difficulties caused by Covid-19, the 2019/2020 self-assessment tax deadline stands. If you need to file a Self Assessment tax return, act now. Complete your return online and submit it by 31 January 2021.

 

Penalties for late filing

If your return is late, you risk a fine. Missing the self-assessment tax deadline incurs an automatic £100 penalty. This is the case even if no tax is due. Or if you pay what you owe on time. The later your return arrives, the more penalties could apply. After six months, HMRC could levy an additional penalty of five per cent of the tax due or £300.

 

2019/2020 self-assessment tax deadline stands

Unfortunately, HMRC will not extend the 31 January 2021 deadline. If you are among the millions yet to complete and submit a tax return, don’t delay. Provide full details – and pay any tax due – as a matter of urgency.

 

Filing late

The good news is that HMRC will waive fines if you file late because you’ve been adversely affected by Covid-19. This will come as a huge relief to millions of self-employed people. HMRC is willing to cancel the automatic £100 penalty for late filing. However, you must file as soon after the deadline as possible.

We understand that HMRC will make available a form online. Use this to apply to avoid a late-filing penalty.

 

Pay all tax due

Not only does the 2019/2020 tax deadline stand, but all tax is due by 31 January 2021. This includes deferred payments originally payable on 31 July 2020. In addition, some taxpayers will have to make their first payment on account for 2020/21.

Although it’s possible to avoid a charge for late filing, HMRC will not revoke penalties for late payment.

 

Financial difficulties

What happens if you are struggling financially? If you can’t pay all the tax you owe in one lump sum, notify HMRC. You can then discuss a time-to-pay arrangement. This gives you up to 12 months to pay in instalments. However, must submit your tax return first.

 

Estimated figures

Don’t wait if you’re unsure about a tax treatment. Equally, don’t delay because some information is missing. Finish the return by inserting estimated or provisional figures. You can advise the actual figures at a later date. This way you won’t fall foul of the late filing charge.

 

Double-check submission

Once completed, check that you have filed your return correctly. Submission is the last stage in the online process, but it’s easy to overlook it. If everything is correct, HMRC will provide a submission receipt.

 

Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns/deadlines

 

Irrespective of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019/2020 self-assessment tax deadline stands. Please act now to avoid incurring penalties.

 

Read more self-assessment, tax and VAT questions.