SELF-employed workers are being given one extra month to submit their tax return before they face a fine.
HMRC confirmed Brits will now have until February 28, 2021, to get their self-assessment tax return in online without being slapped with a penalty.
HMRC says it will accept Covid disruption as a reasonable excuse for missing the deadlineCredit: AFP – Getty
The official deadline to submit self-assessment tax returns is January 31, 2021, so workers effectively have an extra month to hand theirs in.
Normally, it’s a £100 fine if tax returns are filed up to three months late.
Self-employed workers are still being urged to hand in their tax return on time if they can though.
Interest, worth 2.6% of the outstanding amount, will continue to be charged on late payments from February 1 on any outstanding payments.
Waiving the penalty will only apply to late tax returns submitted online.
How do I fill in the tax return?
BEFORE you can complete and submit your tax return, you’ll need to have a unique taxpayer reference (UTR) and activation code from HMRC.
This can take a while to receive, so if it’s the first time you’re completing self-assessment, make sure you register online as soon as possible.
To sign in or register visit the “Self Assessment tax return” section of HMRC’s website.
If you’ve already signed up for self-assessment, you can find your UTR on relevant letters and emails from HMRC.
HMRC accepts your payment on the date you make it, not the date it reaches its account – including on weekends.
So if you want to pay by bank transfer you can do so up until the evening of January 31, but it’s best to get it out the way in advance.
If you need to change your tax return after you’ve filed it, you can do so within 12 months of the original deadline or you can write to HMRC for any changes after that.
Filling in your tax return can seem daunting, but with our step-by-step guide you’ll have it sorted in no time.
Those that are filed at the bank or by post after the deadline will still be subject to the fine.
The extension will give some breathing space for those who are struggling to meet the deadline.
Late payments submitted after the February 28 deadline will be fined as normal.
HMRC has already said it will accept Covid disruption as a reasonable excuse for people missing the deadline, although they’ll still be hit with a fine.
Customers will then have to appeal the penalty that’s been issued by proving they have been negatively impacted by coronavirus, which has caused a delay in making the deadline.
Self-assessment customers face a penalty of £100 if their tax return is up to three months late.
Further fines of £10 a day are applied after three months, up to a maximum of £900.
For payments late by six months, you’ll be fined 5% of the tax you owe or £300, whichever is greater.
You can calculate how much your fine will be on the Gov.uk.
More than 8.9million customers have already filed their tax return.
Your earnings are used to determine the amount of tax you owe for 2019/20 and the amount of any payments on account for 2020/21.
HMRC chief executive Jim Harra said: “We recognise the immense pressure that many people are facing in these unprecedented times and it has become increasingly clear that some people will not be able to file their return by 31 January.
“Not charging late filing penalties for late online tax returns submitted in February will give them the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty.”
Kevin Sefton from Untied added: “We’re pleased that HMRC have listened to our calls to effectively extend the tax filing deadline by one month.
“It’s a victory for common sense and will ease the burden on self-employed workers, many of whom have had one of the most challenging years of their lives.”
On Christmas Day this year, 2,700 Brits people filed their tax returns, in comparison to over 3,000 people who did the same thing last year.
While in February, a woman got a £1,316 HMRC tax fine refunded after The Sun stepped in.