Relaxation of late tax return filing penalties

7 Jan 2022

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it will be relaxing the late filing and late payment penalties, as it did for the 2019-20 season.

This is summarised below:

The last day to submit online returns:

  • The statutory deadline is 31 January 2022
  • The revised deadline to avoid penalties is 28 February 2022

The last day to pay tax due (or set up a Time to Pay arrangement):

  • The statutory deadline is 31 January 2022
  • The revised deadline to avoid penalties is 1 April 2022

Please note that late payment interest (currently at 2.75%) will accrue as normal from 1 February 2022.

Please be advised that this is not a change in the statutory deadlines. HMRC will simply be treating returns submitted/tax paid by the above dates as late but with a valid reasonable excuse. Returns not submitted by the 28 February deadline will be subject to normal penalties thereafter (ie daily late filing penalties from 3 months along with 6 and 12 month penalties).

A 5% late payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding, and a payment plan has not been set up, by midnight on 1 April 2022. Further late payment penalties will be charged at the usual 6 and 12 month points (August 2022 and February 2023 respectively) on tax outstanding where a payment plan has not been set up.

This has important consequences that must be considered, including:

Claims and elections

Certain claims and elections may be need to be made by 31 January. Even if some tax returns are not submitted, claims and elections must be submitted by the deadline.

Extended enquiry deadline

The tax return enquiry deadline will be extended by at least three months.

Filing late 2019-20 returns online

The final date to submit amendments to 2019-20 tax returns online remains 31 January 2022.

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