HMRC waives fines for filing your self-assessment late in 2021

The year 2020 was a year of disruption for nearly every business across every single industry. Throwing a lot of us into disarray and drastically changing our routines. From ceasing trading to having to work remotely to figuring out what financial support is there for your business. And this hasn’t gone unnoticed. As we come towards to end of January 2021 the date is quickly approaching of the 31st January which is the deadline for completing your self-assessment for 2019/2020.

And typically any other year should you have missed this deadline you would have found yourself having to pay a penalty fee. However, given the circumstances of the last year and the major disruption and havoc that the COVID pandemic has wreaked on some businesses, those who miss the deadline this year could find that they avoid having to pay this penalty fee. Of course, this shouldn’t be a green light to take as long as you want to submit your self-assessment and you should still endeavour to meet the deadline.

However HMRC has stated that if you do submit your self-assessment late, it will accept, and to quote, “pandemic-related personal or business disruption” as a reasonable excuse. It has not clarified what would be counted as a valid COVID-related reason and when prompted for specifics no further information has been given.

The typical penalty that you would have been given regardless if you had filed your self-assessment late last year was £100. This was even if you had no tax to pay but still failed to submit your self-assessment. Further fines of £100 would start to be added on top after three months should your self-assessment still have not been submitted. This would then carry on up to a maximum of £900.

If you end up filing your self-assessment late this year you won’t be able to appeal until you receive your fine. When filing your appeal which you can do online by clicking here, you will want to state in your reasoning that Coronavirus was the reason that you were unable to submit these on time. However, the appeals process is known for not being the quickest process despite HMRC advising that they are looking for ways to streamline it and so it would be best to meet the deadline if you can.

If you want to know more about what you need to do when it comes to filing your self-assessment and important dates you need to know in the tax year get in touch with a member of our team and we can answer any questions you have.

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