More than a million self-assessment customers helped by extended deadline

But about 1.3 million customers who were expected to file tax returns had still not done so by February 28 and could face late filing penalties.

More than one million self-assessment customers took advantage of an extended deadline to complete their tax return without facing a penalty in February (PA)
More than one million self-assessment customers took advantage of an extended deadline to complete their tax return without facing a penalty in February (PA)

More than a million self-assessment customers took advantage of an extended deadline to complete their tax return without facing a penalty in February.

The deadline for submitting tax returns was January 31, but HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) gave customers an extra month to complete it due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

If customers filed their returns in February, they avoided a late filing penalty.

While many people used the extension, about 1.3 million who were expected to file had still not done so by February 28.

They could face initial £100 penalties, plus further possible fees.

People can potentially appeal against late filing penalties successfully if they have a reasonable excuse, such as the death of a close relative shortly before the deadline, a serious illness, delays related to a disability or a computer software failure.

HMRC has given customers until April 1 to pay their outstanding tax bill or set up a time-to-pay arrangement to avoid receiving a late payment penalty. Interest has been applied to all outstanding balances since February 1.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “To see if you’re eligible to set up a payment plan, go to gov.uk and search ‘pay my self-assessment’.”

Lucy Frazer, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Today’s stats show how vital the extra month was in supporting the cash flows of more than a million self-employed people and businesses across the UK, helping to ensure their survival as we recover from the pandemic.”

The time-to-pay service allows people or businesses needing the option to spread their tax payments over time. Self-assessment taxpayers with up to £30,000 of tax debt can do this online once they have filed their return.

If customers owe more than £30,000, or need longer to pay, they can call the self-assessment payment helpline on 0300 200 3822.

Customers make self-assessment payments through the HMRC app.

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