HMRC has waived late filing and payment penalties for 2020/21 self-assessments by one month. This has been done to help ease COVID-19 pressures as businesses have continued to struggle through the pandemic.

HMRC is however still encouraging taxpayers to submit and pay their tax return by the original deadline of 31 January 2022 if they can. The department has revealed that more than half (6.5 million) of the 12.2 million people who need to do a return, have already done so.

HMRC recognises the pressure faced this year by self-assessment taxpayers and their agents. COVID-19 is affecting the capacity of some agents and taxpayers to meet their obligations in time for the 31 January deadline. The penalty waivers give taxpayers who need it, more time to complete and file their return online and pay the tax due without worrying about receiving a penalty.

The deadline to file and pay remains 31 January 2022. The penalty waivers will mean 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 1 April

Interest will be payable from 1 February, as usual, so it’s still better to pay on time if possible.

You can find out more about the deadline extension by heading to the website.


What if I can’t pay my tax bill?

If you can’t afford to pay your latest bill, you can set up a Time to Pay plan which allows you to spread the cost of your latest Self-Assessment bill if all the following apply:

  • You owe £30,000 or less
  • You don’t have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • Your tax returns are up to date
  • It’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You can choose how much to pay straight away and how much you want to pay each month. Please note however that you will have to pay interest. Please head to the website to find out how to pay your self-assessment tax bill.


For more information about completing or paying your self-assessment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with PKB.


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