HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that more than one million customers filed their late tax returns in February – taking advantage of the extra time to complete their Self-Assessment without facing a penalty.
About 12.2 million customers were expected to file a return for the 2020/21 tax year and more than 11.3 million customers submitted theirs by 28 February.
The deadline for submitting tax returns was 31 January but, this year, HMRC gave customers an extra month to complete it. If customers filed their returns in February, they would avoid a late filing penalty.
HMRC has given customers until 1 April to pay their outstanding tax bill or set up a Time to Pay arrangement to avoid receiving an overdue payment penalty. Interest has been applied to all outstanding balances since 1 February.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “We understand some customers might be worrying about paying their Self-Assessment bill this year, and we want to support them. 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 existing Time to Pay service allows any individual or business who needs it 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 should call the Self-Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.
Customers can now make Self-Assessment payments quickly and securely through the HMRC app. Customers choosing to make secure Self-Assessment payments through the HMRC app can either connect to their bank to make their payments or pay by Direct Debit, personal debit card or corporate/commercial credit/debit card.
A full list of the payment methods customers can use to pay their Self-Assessment tax bill is available on GOV.UK.
HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted unexpectedly by someone asking for money or personal information. Customers should always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for filing their Self-Assessment return online securely and free of charge. HMRC sees high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling, or texting people claiming to be from the department. If you’re in doubt, do not reply directly to anything suspicious, but contact HMRC straight away and search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.