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It's not too late to file those Self Assessment tax returns, say HMRC

By Alan Beresford

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MORE than 10.7 million people submitted their 2019/20 Self Assessment tax returns by the January 31 deadline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

HMRC Interim Director General for Customer Services Karl Khan. Picture: HMRC
HMRC Interim Director General for Customer Services Karl Khan. Picture: HMRC

The remaining 1.8 million whose tax return is now late will not be charged a late filing penalty provided they submit their return online by February 28.

Those who did not pay their Self Assessment tax bill by the deadline are now incurring interest on the outstanding balance and should pay their bill as soon as possible.

Customers should pay any outstanding balance, or arrange a payment plan, before March 3 to avoid a five per cent late payment penalty.

Those who are not yet able to file their tax return should pay an estimated amount as soon as possible, which will minimise any interest and late payment penalty. Self-employed people can use the calculator on gov.uk to help estimate their tax bill.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s Interim Director General for Customer Services, said: “Thank you to the 10.7 million customers who have sent in their tax returns.

“We won’t send anyone a late filing penalty if they complete their tax return by February 28.

“We know that many individuals and small businesses are finding it harder to pay this year, due to the pandemic. Anyone who can’t afford to pay their tax bill in full can set up a payment plan, once they’ve filed their return, to spread their tax bill into monthly instalments.”

There are several ways that customers can pay their Self Assessment tax bill or an estimated amount. They can pay online, via their bank, or by post. More information on To qualify for a payment plan customers need to have no: Outstanding tax returns; Other tax debts; Other HMRC payment plans set up.

The debt needs to be between £32 and £30,000 and the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date for payment. However, this should be done as soon as possible, and certainly before March 3 to avoid a late payment penalty.

Those who do not meet these requirements, or who need more than 12 months to pay off their bill, can apply for a payment plan by speaking to one of HMRC’s debt advisers.

Interest accrues on all outstanding balances, including those in payment plans.

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