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More than 2m self assessment tax returns remain unfiled

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Published: 01 Feb 2022 Update History

Some 2.3m taxpayers missed the 31 January filing deadline, up half a million on last year. Late filing penalties will not be charged if a return is filed by the end of February, but interest has started to run on any unpaid tax.

HMRC expected 12.2m 2020/21 self assessment tax returns to be filed. It received 9.9m of those returns by the 31 January 2022 deadline, along with a further 0.4m unsolicited/late registration returns.

Around 2m returns were filed in the last week of January, which means that the filing rates are now about 0.5m behind last year, rather than the 1m reported previously. The 81% of returns filed by 31 January is well behind the 92% filed on time in 2020.

Almost 96% of returns were filed online, a similar level to last year.

ICAEW members have reported that the system seems to be under some strain as it is taking longer than usual for online accounts to be updated.

The next deadline is 28 February 2022 to avoid the £100 first late filing penalty. Time to pay arrangements need to be in place by 1 April 2022 to avoid the 5% late payment penalty; this is also the deadline for setting up a time to pay arrangement online. Interest is running now on any unpaid tax.

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