What if I miss the tax return filing deadline?

The tax year ends on 5th April.  The deadline for submitting a personal tax return online is normally by midnight on the following 31 January.  Payment of anything you owe is also due by that date.

Usually, if you miss the 31 January filing deadline you’ll be charged a £100 penalty unless you have a “reasonable excuse”.  Larger penalties can also start to kick in if the return isn’t submitted within 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.  
untied have been calling for an extension to the normal filing deadline in 2021.  HMRC have now announced that no-one will be charged a late filing penalty if they submit their return by 28 February 2021.
The deadline for payment still remains at 31 January, but as long as you pay by 1 April 2021 you won’t be charged a late payment penalty, although you might incur some interest.  Additional late payment penalties start to kick in after 6 months and 12 months.  If you’re struggling to pay your tax bill, don’t ignore it - contact HMRC as soon as you can, to see if they can set up a payment plan - but be aware they’ll normally expect your tax returns to be up to date before discussing this.

Our advice is:

  • Try your hardest to get your tax return in ahead of the current deadline, and avoid the possibility of a penalty.
  • Even if you miss the deadline still try to get your return submitted as soon as you can.
  • If you don’t have all information to hand, include provisional numbers and file an amendment later.  You can do this amendment with untied.
  • Although the payment deadline is in theory also 31 January, significant payment penalties don’t kick in until the start of March (though you may need to pay a small amount of interest).
  • If you're struggling to pay what you owe, contact HMRC as soon as you can, to explore the possibility of a payment plan.

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