Tax returns filing deadline is fast approaching
21/01/2021

The approaching deadline for submitting 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns online is 23:59 on Sunday, 31 January 2021. The filing deadline is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return but also an important date for payment off tax due to HMRC. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment liability for the 2019-20 plus the first payment on account due for the current 2020-21 tax year. The 31 January 2021 is also the payment date for any CGT due on residential property sales made during the 2019-20 tax year before the rules changed on 6 April 2020.

HMRC has published a press release to remind taxpayers to submit their tax return as soon as possible and also shared the following little-known facts about Self-Assessment tax returns:

  • 96,519 people filed their tax return on 6 April 2020 (first day of the tax year)
  • it’s the 20th anniversary of Self-Assessment internet filing, the service began on 3 July 2000 – with 38,000 individuals successfully sending their digital tax return by 31 January 2001.
  • in January 2011, 3.4 million taxpayers completed a Self-Assessment tax return online - this has increased to an estimated 5 million in January 2021.
  • this year’s deadline (31 January 2021) is on a Sunday. The last time the deadline was on a Sunday was in 2016.
  • last year, the busiest filing day was 31 January with 702,171 returns completed.
  • the peak hour for filing last year was between 16:00 to 16:59 on 31 January when 56,969 customers filed.
  • HMRC has increased the self-serve Time to Pay threshold to £30,000 to help Self-Assessment customers spread the cost of their tax bill.

If you miss the filing deadline then you will usually be charged a £100 fixed penalty although pandemic-related issues may count as a ‘reasonable excuse’ for late filing. 

There are also options to defer payments due on 31 January 2021 and pay by instalments over 12 months. This includes a self-serve Time to Pay facility online for debts up to £30,000 or by making an arrangement with HMRC. You will be required to pay interest on any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.


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