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Confused by HMRC’s Self Assessment deadline update?

  • 3 min read
  • 6 Jan 2022
HMRC deadline update

Like last year, HMRC have made some changes to the upcoming Self Assessment deadline. But the updates aren’t quite the same as last year’s. If you’re filing your 2020/21 tax return, here’s everything you need to know!

What did HMRC say?

On 6th January 2022, HMRC announced that there will be no late filing penalty for people filing a 2020/21 tax return online if they file by 28th February 2022. There will also be no late payment penalty if you pay your tax bill (or set up a Time to Pay agreement) by 1st April 2022. 

The regular penalties will resume from 1st March 2022 and 2nd April 2022 for filing and payment respectively. From 1st February 2022, you’ll still be charged interest as normal. 

Take a look at this table to see how it will work:

Filing datePayment datePenalty(filing)Penalty(payment)Interest
Before 31st JanBefore 31st Jan£0£0No
Before 28th FebBefore 28th Feb£0£0Yes
1st March onwardsBefore 1st April£100£0Yes
1st March onwards2nd April onwards£1005% of billYes

 For more detailed info on tax return penalties, check our late tax payment guide

What’s the deal with interest?

Whilst filing and paying later might seem like an attractive option, you will still be charged interest if you file/pay after the regular 31st January deadline. Interest is 2.6% APR – the standard rate for late payment – so if you’re able to get everything sorted on time, it’s worthwhile doing to avoid this charge unnecessarily.

What does 2.6% APR mean? 

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate which basically means a yearly rate. The 2.6% interest charged by HMRC works out as about 0.2% of your tax bill if you file by the end of February 2022.

Why did HMRC extend the deadline?

In their announcement, HMRC explained that they’re hoping to lessen the financial burden on taxpayers and agents that’s been increased by COVID, specifically as a result of the omicron variant.

Don’t forget the COVID grants

Whenever you choose to file, don’t forget to include the following things on your tax return if you claimed them during the 2020/21 tax year:

  • SEISS grants
  • Coronavirus job retention scheme
  • Other COVID-19 grants and support payments such as self-isolation payments and local authority grants

These all count as regular income and will be treated as such when your bill is calculated. The £500 one-off payment for working households receiving tax credits, however, can be left off.

Is it worth filing later?

When you file is up to you, but we’d recommend not delaying unless you absolutely have to.

Otherwise you’ll incur an extra charge on your bill that you could have avoided. Treat the 31st January deadline as you ordinarily would have done.
But if you’re struggling to pay your tax bill, get in touch with HMRC as soon as you can. You may be able to set up a payment plan to spread the cost of your bill. Or click here for general help with your Self Assessment.

Never miss a tax deadline

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How much will I owe? 

Take a look at our late payment calculator to work out what you might owe if you’re having to file late.

Which tax year is this for?

Need a hand? 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team on [email protected] They can help if you’re confused by what this change means for you.

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