HMRC to waive late payment fines for those who file self-assessment tax returns by February 28

You must register to file your income tax return online

The deadline to register for a self-assessment tax return was technically October 5, 2020 – but in general, you’ll be fine if you register now. However, it is essential that you register as soon as possible, as it may take up to 10 business days for you to receive your reference number.

If this is your first return, you can register by visiting the HMRC website.

HMRC will then set up your self-assessment online account and send you a letter with your unique taxpayer reference – a 10-digit code that you will need the first time you log in.

If this is your first online return but you already have a reference number – for example, because you have already filed a paper return – you should be able to skip this step and simply register for the online service.

You can recover forgotten login / password information via

You will need to log into your self-assessment account with your Government Gateway ID or by using Verify.

  • Forgot the details of your government gateway? You can recover your username or reset your password online.
  • Forgot your verification details? You will need to use the forgot username or password function of the provider who verified your identity. See for more.

If this is the first time this is logging into your self-assessment account and forgot your unique tax reference number, you should be able to find it on previous tax returns or other HMRC documents, such as payment reminders. It is also available on your HMRC online account.

If you cannot find your unique reference, you can call the Self-Assessment Hotline on 0300 200 3310.

The paper filing deadline has now passed

The deadline for filing paper returns was October 31, 2020 – so you must file your return online to avoid paying a penalty. If you were to file a paper return now, you would be subject to a fine.

It’s not just your return that you have to file – you also have to pay your tax bill

It’s not just tax returns that need to be filed by January 31, 2021. If you were to make a “down payment” (ie an advance) payment by July 31, 2020 – and all the people don’t have to – the government has given you six months to pay, but it expires on January 31, 2021, so you have to pay unless you have agreed to a separate repayment plan with HMRC. This payment is supposed to cover about half of your 2019/20 bill and is calculated using half of your actual bill for the 2018/19 tax year.

You will also need to pay any remaining tax due from tax year 2019/20 (called an offsetting payment) – unless you have also agreed to a repayment plan – as well as your first down payment for 2020 / 21. taxation year. Above all, miss these payments and you will be fined and charged with interest.

You can pay your tax bill by bank transfer, debit card or check. You can also pay your bank or mortgage company if you have a payment slip from HMRC.

HMRC accepts cash through the Faster Payments system, which allows cash to flow in two hours. However, each bank has a limit on the amount you can transfer under Faster Payments. The limits range from £ 5,000 to £ 100,000. See the limit of each supplier. You can no longer pay the bill with a personal credit card or at the post office.

Speak to HMRC urgently if you can’t afford the tax

If your bill is correct but you can’t afford it, contact HMRC as soon as possible, as you may be able to avoid late penalties by making an agreement to spread your payments over a period of time – see below for more on this. (See also our Free tax code calculator to make sure you are on the correct tax code).

You will need a reasonable excuse for not paying your taxes on time. It is usually something unexpected or beyond your control that has prevented you from meeting a tax obligation. For example:

  • Your partner or other close relative died shortly before the tax or payment deadline.
  • You had an unforeseen hospital stay that prevented you from settling your tax affairs.
  • You have had a serious or fatal illness.
  • Your computer or software crashed just before or while you were preparing your return online.
  • Problems with HMRC Online Services.
  • A fire, flood or theft has prevented you from completing your income tax return.

You can sign up for a repayment plan if you’re having trouble – but interest is charged

Those who owe tax under £ 30,000 (and over £ 32) in January 2021 (so this would be the July deferred payment and January 2021 ‘on account’ payment) were able to use the ‘payment time’ improved ”from HMRC. mechanism to agree on a repayment plan to spread that tax bill and repay it by direct debit over a period of up to 12 months – even if it exceeds the payment deadline of January 31, 2021.

To use this service, you must have filed your 2019/20 tax return by the January 31, 2021 deadline – we have asked HMRC if this deadline has also been extended to February 28, 2021 and we will update this story when we find out. Following.

You must also set up the repayment plan no later than 60 days after the due date of a debt. Plus, you don’t need any overdue tax returns, other tax debts, or other payment plans in place. You can set up a Time to Pay plan online through your tax account, or you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3822 (open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

However, keep in mind that those who use this system will pay simple interest (i.e. not compound) of 2.6% per annum from February 1, 2021 until repayment. full invoice.

You incur penalties if you fail to meet the reporting and payment deadlines

You will be charged a penalty of £ 100 if you do not submit your return by the filing deadline, even if there is no tax payable. Additional penalties of £ 10 per day apply after three months, up to a maximum of £ 900. After six months you will receive an additional penalty of 5% of tax due or £ 300 (whichever is greater), which is repeated every 12 months.

There are also additional penalties for late payment of tax. If you don’t pay on time, you will be charged interest immediately. You will then be fined 5% of the unpaid tax after 30 days, plus 5% after six months and again after 12 months. So if you miss the payment deadline of January 31, 2021, sort it out as soon as you can.

The government provides a online tool to calculate how much you will have to pay in penalties and interest if you miss the deadline.

Who should I contact for more advice?

The government provides help sheets and videos for tips on submitting your tax return.

You can also contact HMRC directly for advice by calling the hotline on 0300 200 3310. It is open 8 am to 8 pm weekdays, 8 am to 4 pm Saturday and 9 am to 5 pm Sunday. You can also get general help from HMRC customer support at Twitter.

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