HMRC is waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Self Assessment taxpayers for one month –
giving them extra time, if they need it, to complete their 2020/21 tax return and pay any tax due.
The tax office said it “recognises the pressure faced this year by Self Assessment taxpayers and their agents”, adding: “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:
• 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 is still better to pay on time if possible, HMRC said.
HMRC has ‘listened and acted on concerns’
The move has been welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). Director of Public Policy John
Cullinane said: “We are pleased that HMRC will waive late filing and late payment penalties for one month.
“Today’s announcement shows HMRC have listened and acted on the concerns of our tax adviser members
who report increased pressures on their workloads and significant staff absences because of the impact of
the pandemic, particularly the Omicron variant which is widespread during the peak filing period.”
But he warned: “This is not an opportunity for tax advisers to ‘shelve’ their tax obligations. A £100 late
filing penalty could still apply if the tax return is not filed by midnight on 28 February, and a 5% tax geared
penalty will be charged if there is any outstanding tax at midnight on 1 April, unless a payment plan has
been agreed with HMRC.”
Cullinane concluded: “We would like the situation to remain under constant review. For example, it may be
appropriate to introduce further easements similar to last year, such as extending the time limits for
appealing any penalties which are levied and allowing tax advisers to make ‘bulk’ appeals on behalf of their
In addition to granting Self Assessment taxpayers more time, HMRC recently issued a reminder that Covid-19 grants must be declared on tax returns.