HMRC Extend Filing Deadline.
The news a lot of self-employed people had hoped for finally came on the 25th of January, Jim Harra, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) chief executive announced that the 31st of January 2021 filing deadline had been extended to the 28th of February.
What does this really mean?
In the UK, employed people pay their income tax through their employer who deduct the tax due via the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme. For self-employed individuals they have to work out the tax they owe themselves and file the Self-Assessment Tax Return with HMRC. The deadline for doing this is always the 31st of January, but Jim Harra has announced there will be no penalty for late filing this year provided the return is filed before the 28th of February.
Has the payment due date been extended?
In a word NO!
Please don’t confuse filing the return with your responsibility to pay the tax due by the 31st of January. Just to be clear, if you are late in paying your return, interest will be charged from the 1st of February on any outstanding liabilities.
Please make sure you have your liability paid before the 31st of January deadline, you can pay online or via your bank or via post (but we are too late for that now). More information on ways to pay can be found on the Government website here.
What will I do if I can't afford to pay the Tax right now?
If you cannot afford to pay the tax bill on time taxpayers can apply to spread their bill over up to 12 months, but before you can do this the 2019 to 2020 tax return has to be filed as soon as possible.
Chief Executive Jim Harra commented.
“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 and it has become increasingly clear that some people will not be able to file their return by 31 January.”
What will I do if I need help?
Remember you can access HMRC via their Twitter account, also remember there is a lot of useful information on the HMRC app, available for Android and IOS. If you need to discuss any issues you may be having with someone at HMRC then they have extended their opening times for their phone lines and webchat, to include Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 31st.
Opening times are below
phone and card payment lines: Saturday 30 January: 8am to 6pm and Sunday 31 January: 9am to 6pm
webchat: Saturday 30 January and Sunday 31 January: 8am to 8pm
Finally, there is more information in the press release on the Gov.uk website which can be found here.