The impact of government changes to the self-assessment deadline


In response to the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the UK Government has made changes to how self-assessments are filed and how any payments are made for the tax year 2019-2020.

In previous years, the deadline for self-assessments to be completed by was January 31 if a submission was made online. This year, however, an extension has been offered for those filing their 2019-2020 tax return of up until February 28 – although, wherever possible, taxpayers were encouraged to file self-assessments and make payments to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by the usual deadline.

Are there any additional charges for submitting assessments later than January 31?

Taxpayers completing their annual self-assessments by February 28 instead of January 31 will face no penalties for filing late submissions.

However, taxpayers still had to pay any tax owed by the original January 31 deadline. Tax payments could be made either online, via your bank or by post. As of February 1, interest is being charged on any outstanding payments.

Additional support for those struggling to pay tax bills

Taxpayers who were not able to pay their 2019 to 2020 tax bill on January 31 can make an application online requesting to spread the total amount of their bill over a year. Tax bills of up to £30,000 can be split into 12 monthly instalments to make payments to HMRC easier.

However, to benefit from this Time to Pay option, they must first compete and submit their online tax return. With this in mind, HMRC is urging taxpayers to complete their 2019-2020 tax returns as swiftly as possible.

Jim Harra, Chief Executive at HMRC, commented:

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away.”

Taxpayers with bills that exceed £30,000 can contact HMRC directly and discuss Time to Pay options. Sole traders and company directors that need to make such a call can sometimes benefit from assistance from professional accountants to handle these negotiations.

Company directors required to complete self-assessment

As well as self-employed professionals, company directors must file a return if one has been issued or if they match certain criteria, including receiving income from abroad or annual income over £100,000.

However, a company director whose only source of income is taxed via PAYE, or who receives no taxable income and has not received an official notice asking them to file a return, isn’t required to register for self-assessment or report to the HMRC.

Specialist assistance with self-assessments

Whether you’re a self-employed entrepreneur or the director of a small to medium-sized business looking for a certified business accountant in Goole, you can rely on Adaptive Accountancy for advice and support. We’ve been helping sole traders and company directors with expert services since 2011, and we’re experienced in helping UK professionals to complete any annual documentation required by HMRC. Contact us today for around the clock assistance.

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