Many of you would be postponing tax filing, as COVID has already presented so many challenges to businesses. In the uproar of claiming all the COVID grants and loans, it became extremely challenging for everyone to keep up with the taxes too. Many of us were hoping that the tax return deadlines may get extended amid the COVID crisis.
You might be disappointed to hear that HMRC is not willing to extend the tax return deadline. So it’s a good idea to sort out your documents as soon as possible and get done with self-assessment. However, there will be no late filing penalties. Furthermore, HMRC has also extended the penalty appeal period to six months. ICAEW was actively involved in getting the deadline postponed, as a lot of its members had already requested it. Other professional bodies also approached HMRC to get the deadline postponed. The deadline for self-assessment remains 31st January.
In his official statement, HMRC representative Jim Hara clarified that HMRC encourages maximum business representatives to work out their taxes and pay at least the half of their returns. Filing your return is a golden opportunity to crystallising self-assessment liability to get the support of HMRC and you don’t want to miss out on that.
HMRC will not be penalizing customers who miss out on tax return deadlines. However, as per the statement issued by the representative, HMRC strictly discourages going forward with this decision, as it may have a long term impact. Decoupling the payment and filing dates might confuse customers, and even lead to non-payment, interest accruing, and late payment penalties being triggered.
So it’s ok to deduce that filing late is not the best option available. However, if you’re too preoccupied with the COVID crisis and you can’t figure out any easy way out. Then it’s okay do go forward and avail the relaxation introduced by HMRC.