Millions to face fines if self-assessment tax return deadline missed

A warning has been issued that millions of self-assessment taxpayers could be faced with fines if they miss the tax deadline.

According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), accountants are “dismayed” that HMRC is refusing to extend the deadline for tax returns on 31 January.

The ACCA said taxpayers could face fines totalling to £250 million.

Glenn Collins, head of technical advisory and policy at the ACCA, wrote to HMRC to say:

“Given the fact that we now have a further national lockdown ... we would urge HMRC to reconsider and extend the deadline until the end of the tax year in order to provide relief for struggling businesses.”

HMRC is currently insisting that £100 fines will be issued, followed by the ordinary appeals process.

It has said, however, that COVID-19 related disruption may be considered a “reasonable excuse” to appeal late-filing penalties.

Jim Harra, CEO of HMRC, said:

“We will continue to encourage timely filing.

“Any departure from this simple message increases the risk that taxpayers will miss both filing and payment deadlines unnecessarily or miss out on the simple arrangements we have put in place for securing time to pay."

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