HMRC waives penalties for late-filed tax returns

HMRC will waive fines for self-assessment tax returns that miss the midnight deadline on 31 January 2021, as long as they are filed by 28 February 2021.

The tax authority is still encouraging anyone who has not yet filed their 2019/20 tax return to do so to file by the deadline.

Usually, taxpayers would be fined £100 for the first day after the deadline. After three months, £10 would be charged for each additional day, capped at 90 days.

For payments late by six months, then 12 months, HMRC would usually fine taxpayers 5% of their tax owed or £300, whichever is the higher amount.

HMRC revealed over 8.9 million self-employed individuals have already filed their tax returns, leaving around 3.2 million who have yet to submit theirs.

Jim Harra, chief executive at HMRC, said:

“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.”

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