Self assessment and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Produced by Tolley
  • (Updated for Budget 2021)
  • (Updated for Coronavirus (COVID-19))
Self assessment and coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Self assessment and coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Late filing penalties for 2019/20 tax return
  • Fee protection insurance
  • Reasonable excuse
  • Subsequent late filing penalties
  • Enquiry window and deadline for claims and elections
  • Late payment penalties for 2019/20 tax year
  • Second payment on account for 2019/20 tax year
  • Amount due on 31 January 2021
  • Agreeing time to pay with HMRC in relation to 31 January 2021 liabilities
  • More...

HMRC has announced the following coronavirus (COVID-19)-related measures in relation to self assessment:

  1. late filing penalties will not be charged for all 2019/20 returns filed before 1 March 2021

  2. late payment penalties will not be charged for any tax due in relation to the 2019/20 tax year that is either paid before 2 April 2021 or where a payment plan is set up before 2 April 2021

  3. the second payment on account for the 2019/20 tax year is deferred for all taxpayers

  4. taxpayers struggling to make the self assessment payment due by 31 January 2021 can apply to HMRC for time to pay

  5. daily late filing penalties will not be charged in relation to late 2018/19 tax returns

These measures are discussed further below.

Late filing penalties for 2019/20 tax return

On 25 January 2021, HMRC confirmed that it will waive late filing penalties for all 2019/20 returns filed before 1 March 2021.

This means that as long as the 2019/20 return is filed by 28 February 2021, no £100 late filing penalty will be issued.

The penalty waiver applies to all self assessment tax returns submitted online and those self assessment returns that must be filed on paper as there is no facility for electronic submission (ie non-resident company income tax returns and trustees of registered pension schemes returns).

However, it is important for advisers to be aware that it is not possible to agree a time to pay arrangement for the 31 January 2021 liability (see below) until the 2019/20 tax return has been filed.

In any case, whether or not the taxpayer needs to set up a time to pay arrangement, late payment of tax attracts interest. Therefore, if the taxpayer was in a position to make the payment in full by 31 January, it would have been necessary for them to pay an estimated amount if the return was yet to be filed. See the Interest and penalties on late paid tax under self assessment

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