HM Revenue & Customs have announced that four million customers are yet to submit their completed Self Assessment tax return and pay any tax ahead of the deadline on 31 January.

It is expected that more than 12.2million customers should complete a tax return for the 2020-21 tax year.

Those that have not yet filed their return, paid any outstanding liabilities or set up a payment plan are encouraged to do so ahead of the approaching deadline as interest will be applied to all outstanding balances from 1 February. The late payment interest rate from 4 January 2022 is 2.75%.

Late filing penalties

It was announced earlier in the month that taxpayers who have not filed their 2020-21 tax return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file their return online by 28 February.

Late payment penalties

A 5% late payment penalty is usually charged on any unpaid tax that is still outstanding on 3 March. This year, taxpayers will not be charged the 5% penalty if they pay their tax or set up a payment plan by midnight on 1 April.

Further late payment penalties will be charged at the usual 6 and 12 month points (August 2022 and February 2023 respectively) on tax outstanding where a payment plan has not been set up.

Further information about setting up a Time to Pay arrangement can be found here.

Grants and payments from COVID-19 support schemes

The 2020-21 tax return covers earnings and payments during the pandemic.

Any grants or payments from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or other support such as self-isolation payments, local authority grants and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme must be declared on the tax return.

Self Assessment timeline

  • 31 January: Self Assessment deadline (filing and payment);
  • 1 February: Interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills;
  • 28 February: Last date to file any late online 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; and
  • 1 April: Last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online.