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

Date published: 08 February 2021


Self Assessment customers will not receive a penalty for their late online tax return if they file by February 28, HM Revenue and Customs’ Chief Executive Jim Harra has announced.

More than 8.9 million customers have already filed their tax return.

Anyone who didn't file their return by the January 31 deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by February 28.

Customers can pay online, via their bank, or by post before they file. 

More information on how to pay is at GOV.UK.

Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their tax bill on time can apply online to spread their bill over up to 12 months.

But they will need to file their 2019-20 tax return before setting up a time to pay arrangement, so HMRC is encouraging everyone to do this as soon as possible.

Mr Harra said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away.

"But we recognise the immense pressure that many people are facing in these unprecedented times.

“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.

"We can reasonably assume most of these people will have a valid reason for filing late, caused by the pandemic.”

Normally, late filing penalties are applied to all returns filed after the January 31 deadline.

Those penalties are cancelled if the customer has a reasonable excuse for filing late.

However, this year HMRC is not issuing late filing penalties for a month to help taxpayers and agents who are unable to meet the deadline.

Late filing penalties will not be issued for online tax returns received by February 28.

HMRC has previously said that it was keeping the situation closely under review.

It has become increasingly clear from the filing rate that some taxpayers and agents cannot file on time, and the department has now determined that ensuring no customer will receive late filing penalties if they file online before the end of February is the best way to help them.

HMRC has increased support for customers who may need help with their tax liabilities.

Once they have completed their 2019-20 tax return, customers can set up an online payment plan to spread Self Assessment bills of up to £30,000 over up to 12 monthly instalments.

Customers can apply for self-serve Time to Pay via GOV.UK.

Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from February 1, 2021.

More than 42,000 customers have already used the service, without needing to call HMRC, to manage their liabilities totalling almost £130 million.

Customers with bills over £30,000, or who need longer than 12 months to pay their bill, can call HMRC 0300 200 3822 to discuss time to pay.

Customers who are required to make Payments on Account, and know their bill is going to be lower than the previous tax year, for example due to loss of earnings because of COVID-19, can reduce their Payments on Account.

Visit GOV.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.

Customers who are trying to contact HMRC in the run up to the deadline can do so via webchat, Twitter or the Self Assessment phone helpline.

They may also find the information they need via the free HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account.


Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.


While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Oldham Chronicle and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Oldham Chronicle offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Oldham Chronicle to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Oldham Chronicle