Tax returns

HMRC delays penalties for late filing and payment

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Returns should still be filed by the 31 January deadline

HMRC’s decision to delay penalties for late filing of tax returns for a second year is a relief to advisers as well as tax payers.

The tax office said penalties on late tax returns will not be imposed until 28 February and late tax payments until 1 April though interest will still be charged if the bill is not paid by 31 January.

HMRC said it has only received 6.5m of the 12.2m returns it is expecting to receive this year. The tax authority says many of these taxpayers, or their agents, will have been affected by Covid-19, which could make it difficult to hit the usual filing deadline.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation said the delay also comes as a relief to its members who report increased pressures on their workloads and significant staff absences because of the impact of the COVID pandemic, particularly the Omicron variant which is widespread during the peak filing period.

CIOT’s director of public policy John Cullinane noted that this is not a deferral of the tax return deadline itself and taxpayers should continue to file their return and pay any tax due by 31 January, as interest will still accrue from 1 February.

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