HMRC to give Self-Assessment taxpayers more time to ease COVID-19 pressures

6th January 2022 | News

Late filing penalties waived

HMRC have confirmed that they will be waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Self-Assessment taxpayers for one month if taxpayers are concerned that they will not meet the 31st January 2022 deadline.

This should allow more time for customers to get their 2020-21 tax returns submitted and tax bills paid without facing the worry of a penalty.

The same waiver was issued back in January 2021, also in response to the effects of the pandemic.

Customers have been encouraged to submit their tax returns and pay on time if they are able to. However, HMRC has acknowledged the pressures faced by taxpayers and their agents which has influenced the decision to waive the penalties associated with late filing or paying of tax. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, and the government advice to resume home-working where possible, has led to the capacity of many agents and taxpayers to meet the 31st January deadline being impacted.

Details of waiver

The penalty waivers are as follows:

  • Anyone who cannot file their return by the 31st January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty as long as they file online by 28th February
  • Anyone who cannot pay their Self-Assessment tax by the 31st 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 1st April

However, it is important to remember that interest on tax owed will still be payable from 1st February as usual, so it may be more beneficial to pay on time if you are able to.

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.”

Furthermore, Lucy Frazer, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, added the following:

“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.”

COVID-19 support schemes

Please remember that grants or payments from COVID-19 support schemes must be declared on your 2020-21 tax return, as these are taxable. Examples include:

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and those for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

We have published a more in-depth article on including COVID-19 support grants in your tax return which will provide you with further useful information.

Stay alert to scams

As always, HMRC has continued to urge customers to remain alert to the possibility of scams. As the deadline approaches, HMRC sees a high number of fraudsters emailing, calling, or texting people claiming to be from the department.

These potential scammers are aware that HMRC will be issuing their own legitimate reminders and correspondence around this time of year and hope to trick unsuspecting customers into handing over money or personal information.

If you receive any communications purporting to be from HMRC that appear in any way suspicious, please inform HMRC immediately.

We have published a detailed article on staying alert to HMRC scams and what to look out for which should assist with any concerns.

As always, if you would like any further information regarding the above, please feel free to contact our offices by email info@williamsoncroft.co.uk.

Williamson & Croft is a market leading accountancy, advisory and tax firm with particular specialisms in property, construction, retail, digital and creative, technology and professional services.

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