HMRC have announced that taxpayers who do not file their 2019-20 tax return by 31 January 2021 will not receive a late filing penalty if they file by 28 February 2021.

  • The usual deadline for 2019-20 tax returns submitted online is 31 January 2021. Failure to meet this would ordinarily result in an automatic £100 Late filing penalty being issued. 
  • In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, HMRC announced on 25 January that they would not issue late filing penalties until 28 February 2021 in order to help taxpayers and agents who are unable to meet the deadline.
  • HMRC is encouraging anyone who has not yet filed their tax return to do so by 31 January, if possible.

Taxpayers must still ensure they pay their tax bill by 31 January 2021 as Interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities. 

  • HMRC is also reminding taxpayers struggling to pay their tax liabilities that they can apply for a self-serve Time to pay agreement via their government gateway account, although this cannot be done until their 2019-20 tax return is submitted. 

Useful guides on this topic

Penalties: Late Filing
Late returns can be subject to a mix of fixed and tax geared penalties. What penalties apply for late filing? Which penalty will apply and when? 

Penalties: Late Payment
What penalties are charged when tax is paid late?

Appeals: Grounds for Appeal Toolkit
What grounds are there to appeal a tax penalty? How can you word a tax appeal? Can you appeal HMRC errors? What is a reasonable excuse?

Grounds for Appeal: Reasonable excuse
What is considered to be a 'reasonable excuse' when a taxpayer makes an appeal against a tax compliance failure?

How to appeal an HMRC decision
What type of decision can you appeal? What are your different options when you disagree with HMRC? What are the key steps in making an appeal?

External link 

Press release: No Self Assessment late filing penalty for those who file online by 28 February


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