HMRC has announced that it will pause the usual fines for individuals and businesses who submit their self-assessment tax returns late for a period of one month.

The deadline for submitting returns is 31st January, and normally, anyone filing after that date would face a penalty, such as an initial fine of £100. However, the tax authority will suspend this for a month to provide owners of small businesses and sole traders who have been affected by the pandemic a little more leeway to complete returns and pay their taxes for the year.

Some may have the assistance of an accountant who provides tax return services in Goole or elsewhere, making this less important, but for others, it will be welcome breathing space.

The announcement by HMRC comes in the wake of its confirmation that only 6.5 million of the 12.2 million who are required to submit a tax return for 2020/21 have so far done so. Under the new terms, there will be no penalty levied on any of those still needing to submit a return, as long as it is in by 28th February.

Those unable to pay tax money due before the deadline will also be able to avoid fines if they pay the total owed, or arrange payment via Time to Pay, ahead of 1st April.

In a statement, the Deputy Chief Executive of HMRC, Angela MacDonald, stated that the authority understood many were still struggling with the effects of the pandemic and that it was keen to ease that strain.

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