HMRC has revealed that 8m 2020/21 self assessment (SA) tax returns have been filed, with 4m still outstanding as of 24 January 2022.
This compares with 9m 2019/20 returns filed and 3m returns outstanding at 25 January 2021, the date on which the penalty waiver for 2019/20 returns was announced.
Last year’s announcement came too late to relieve the pressure on tax agents. This year’s earlier announcement was welcome, though a pre-Christmas announcement would have been preferred. However, it is unlikely that HMRC expected such a fall-off in filing rates with one week to go to the deadline.
The filing deadline remains 31January and there are many reasons why returns may need to be filed by that date. These include deadlines for claims and elections, to avoid late notification penalties and to enable payment to avoid late payment interest charges.
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