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What happens if you miss the 31 January self assessment filing and payment deadline?

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 18 Jan 2022

Following HMRC’s announcement that it will provide a one-month penalty waiver for late-filing and late-payment penalties, ICAEW’s Tax Faculty shares guidance from HMRC on other implications of not meeting the 31 January deadline.

Despite the one-month penalty waiver, the 31 January deadline for self assessment filing and payment is unchanged. This means that interest applies to payments not made by 31 January and the period for HMRC to enquire into returns is extended for returns filed after that date. However, there are also other matters for taxpayers to be aware of.

Tax Credits

31 January 2022 is the deadline for providing final income figures for 2020/21, if the tax credit renewal was made by 31 July 2021, using estimated figures. HMRC is encouraging claimants to make their declarations by 31 January. If that is not possible, tax credits will be finalised based on the information HMRC holds at the time. If a declaration is made after that, and by 28 February, HMRC will use its discretionary powers to re-make the decision if the delay was due to COVID-19. HMRC will not be expecting claimants to prove the delay was due to COVID-19.

Class 2 national insurance contributions (NIC)

Class 2 NIC payment is mandatory for self-employed individuals with profits of £6,475 or more in 2020/21. If profits are lower, taxpayers may wish to pay voluntary contributions to maintain entitlement to contributions-based benefits.

Mandatory payment:

Self-employed taxpayers who need to claim certain contributory benefits soon after 31 January 2022 need to ensure class 2 NIC is paid on time. This is to make sure their claims are unaffected. Class 2 NIC is included in the 2020/21 balancing payment that is due to be paid by 31 January 2022. Benefit entitlements may be affected if taxpayers:

  • can’t pay their balancing payment by 31 January 2022; and
  • enter into a time to pay arrangement to pay off the balancing payment and other self assessment tax liabilities through instalments.

Affected taxpayers should contact HMRC on 0300 200 3822 for help as soon as possible.

Voluntary payment:

Unfortunately, HMRC is unable to directly contact affected taxpayers before 31 January as it cannot identify them until they have filed their return and paid their tax. Like last year, HMRC will also take steps to identify, and contact, affected taxpayers after 28 February.

Self-employed taxpayers who have profits below £6,475 in the 2020/21 tax year need to contact HMRC on 0300 200 3500 for assistance if they:

  • want to pay voluntary class 2 NIC for contributory benefit after 31 January 2022; or
  • paid voluntary class 2 NIC via self assessment before 31 January 2022 but will not file their return until after 31 January.

Taxpayers filing SA700 or SA970 forms

The non-resident company income tax return (SA700) and the tax return for trustees of registered pension schemes (SA970) can only be filed on paper. HMRC will not charge late filing penalties for returns received in February 2022. HMRC has also confirmed that the late payment penalty easement will also apply to SA700 and SA970.

Daily late filing penalties reminders

Last year, due to a technical issue, HMRC did not issue the usual daily late filing penalties reminders in June and July. HMRC plans to issue the reminders this year. A warning about daily penalties is also included on the initial late filing penalty notice.

Agent delay and COVID-19 

If a taxpayer has taken all reasonable steps to get their affairs in order to allow their agent to meet the filing deadline, and that agent has been delayed due to COVID-related absence, then the agent delay may constitute a reasonable excuse. 

Partnership returns 

HMRC has confirmed that individual partners will not be charged a late filing penalty in respect of a 2020/21 partnership return (SA800) provided that the partnership return is filed online on or before 28 February.

Deadline for nominating accounts for the special mixed fund rules

HMRC has confirmed that for 2022, the deadline for nominations of special mixed funds has been moved to 28 February.

SEISS notification

Taxpayers who have not yet told HMRC about overpaid Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants must declare those received from 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021 on their 2020/21 tax return. If a taxpayer submits their return by 28 February 2022, instead of 31 January 2022, HMRC has said that taxpayers will not be charged a penalty unless there is a deliberate failure to tell HMRC about a SEISS grant overpayment.

More information is available here on the gov.uk website

ICAEW Know-How from the Tax Faculty

This guidance is created by the Tax Faculty & recognised internationally as a leading authority and source of expertise on taxation. The Faculty is the voice of tax for ICAEW, responsible for all submissions to the tax authorities. Join the Faculty for expert guidance and support enabling you to provide the best advice on tax to your clients or business.

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