Can you really afford to leave your self-assessment until 28th February?

Date: 01/02/2021
Author: GoSimpleTax
Company: GoSimpleTax

Have you welcomed the news of no penalties for filing late, are you one of the millions yet to file your self-assessment due to being adversely affected by coronavirus?

Having your self-assessment up to date has aided the self-employed with claiming government schemes and for filing your 19/20 tax return GoSimpleTax look at the changes that have been made and what help is there for you.

HMRC recognised that there would be an increase in late filing of the self-assessment tax returns due to coronavirus and therefore HMRC updated their guidance to state that they would not be issuing fines for late self-assessment tax return submissions until 28th February 2021.

However, the deadline of 31st January remained for payments and any late payments will incur interest at 2.6%.

So, the deadline has been and gone you have not yet completed your tax return, let alone paid it. GoSimpleTax suggest you complete your self-assessment to know your tax liability and at least pay what you owe as soon as you can. You do not have to submit it, however, if you have done it why wait?

I have filed, but I am struggling to pay

If you cannot pay as your income has been affected by coronavirus you may be able to pay your self-assessment tax bill via a payment plan. HMRC have an online application for Time to Pay.

You can spread the cost of your latest self-assessment bill if

  • You owe £30,000 or less
  • You do not have ay other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • Your tax returns are up to day
  • It is less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You can see if you are eligible and apply for a payment plan online, you do not need to phone HMRC.

If you cannot access the online service or are not eligible you should call HMRC at your earliest convenience to discuss your situation. The self-assessment payment helpline is 0300 200 3822.

Think ahead for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax

With MTD for income tax over the horizon, it is mandated for 2023, begin converting to digital software. HMRC’s portal can be confusing - now is the perfect time to switch.

Digital software allows you to calculate your tax liability in real time if you chose to use it from April 2021 and update your finances weekly, monthly or quarterly. You can be one step ahead, plan your finances and spend more time concentrating on your business.

GoSimpleTax suggest submitting your 20/21 tax return on 6th April and then utilising software to stay up to date with your finances. Updating your tax return in real time. You will always be one step ahead and with the uncertainty of the pandemic it pays to be, as you are likely to be ready to claim any future help the government may offer.

To conclude, if you are yet to file or pay your 19/20 tax return, we advise you take action soon as possible. Whether you need to file your return, pay your tax bill or to seek help from HMRC through the Time to Pay, the sooner you do it the less onerous any ramifications will be. Delaying is just putting off the inevitable – so seek help if you need it.

HMRC has confirmed that the initial 5% late payment penalty on self-assessed tax won’t be charged if the tax is paid, or a time to pay arrangement is agreed, by 1 April.  

Taxpayers now have until 28 February to file any late tax returns and to prevent being charged a late filing penalty of £100. They then have until 1 April to pay any outstanding tax or make a time to pay arrangement and sidestep a late payment penalty.   

SA timeline 

  • 31 January – Self Assessment deadline (paying and filing) 
  • 1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills 
  • 28 February – last date to file any late tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty 
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement, to avoid a late payment penalty 
  • 1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online 

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/late-sa-taxpayers-will-not-be-charged-5-surcharge

About GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for self-employed, sole traders, freelancers and anyone with income outside of PAYE to log all their income and expenses. The software will provide you with hints and tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you may have missed.

Try today for free - add up to five income and expense transactions per month and see your tax liability in real time at no cost to you. Pay only when you are ready to submit or use other key features such as receipt uploading.