“Given the recent restrictions to HMRC’s self assessment helpline in which it only dealt with calls on filing, payments and repayments, and its closure in Summer 2023, it’s no surprise, but still disappointing, that 1.1 million people missed the self assessment deadline, around 100,000 more than last year.
“ICAEW has received reports of extreme delays on the self assessment helpline in recent days and considers that a fundamental review of HMRC’s service performance is needed. It should be recognised that, despite the difficulties, taxpayers and agents filed a record 11.5m returns by the deadline.
“Those missing the deadline will include some who don’t need to file a return for 2022/23 but must contact HMRC to get the return formally cancelled so they don’t get charged a late filing penalty.
“Other taxpayers may still not realise they have been drawn into self assessment territory due to rising interest rates and the freezing and reduction of bands and allowances, so they should register as soon as possible to minimise the risk of penalties.
“Anyone who has missed the payment deadline should contact HMRC immediately to either pay the tax that’s due or agree a payment plan. While interest charges at 7.75% apply to any balance on a payment plan, getting the plan in place before 1 March will avoid a 5% late payment penalty on top of that.”
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