Tax Return Deadline Extended Until February 28

Late filing and late payment penalties are to be waived for one month for self-assessment taxpayers.

Over two million taxpayers who still need to file their self-assessment returns will benefit from an extension until the end of February as HMRC announced it was waiving penalties for a month for late filing of tax returns and late payments.

HMRC said it recognises the pressure faced this year by self-assessment taxpayers and their agents. The pandemic has affected the capacity of some customers to meet their obligations in time for the January 31 deadline. The waivers give taxpayers who need it more time to complete and file their return online and pay the tax due without worrying about receiving a penalty.

However, any customers who miss the extended deadline will face financial penalties, so the advice is to get your tax return submitted as early as possible this month. Interest of 2.75% will be charged from February 1 on any amounts outstanding, as usual, so it is still better to pay as soon as possible.

HMRC said that more than 630,000 customers filed their tax return on the January 31 deadline day and the peak was between 4pm and 4.59pm, when 52,475 customers completed their self-assessment, with another 20,947 customers completed their tax return in the final hour before midnight.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “We’re waiving penalties this year, to give those who missed the deadline an extra month.

“And customers can set up a monthly payment plan online if they’re worried about paying their tax bill. Search ‘self-assessment’ on gov.uk to find out more.”

Self-assessment timeline

  • 28 February – last date to file any late online tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or set up a Time to Pay arrangement online, to avoid a late payment penalty

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, added: “We know the pressures individuals and businesses are again facing this year, due to the impacts of COVID-19. Our decision to waive penalties for one month for self-assessment taxpayers will give them extra time to meet their obligations without worrying about receiving a penalty.”