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HMRC extends self assessment window

7 January 2022

For the second year running, HMRC has announced an extension meaning anyone who cannot file their tax return by the 31 January 2022 deadline will not receive a late filing penalty providing they file online by 28 February.

12.2 million people are due to file their 2020-21 tax return by 31 January and almost 6.5 million have already done so. That said, HMRC has acknowledged the additional pressure COVID-19 is placing on taxpayers and their agents. They have announced a waiver that will give taxpayers more time to complete and file their tax return online before a penalty is issued.

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."

HMRC has announced that:

  • anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty providing they file online by 28 February
  • anyone who cannot pay the tax they owe by 31 January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty providing they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 1 April

Despite the filing extension, HMRC have urged taxpayers to pay on time if possible, reminding them that the tax they owe is still due by 31 January - even if they have not yet filed their return. Interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities.

Help with payment problems

Taxpayers that are struggling to pay the tax they owe can set up a payment plan with HMRC using the Time to Pay service on the government website. Customers with bills over £30,000, or who need longer than 12 months to pay their bill, should call HMRC on 0300 200 3822.

Taxpayers can contact HMRC via webchat, Twitter, or the self assessment phone helpline (0300 200 3310). They can also find the information they need via the free HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account.

Written by Fiona Prior.

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