Two million people miss self-assessment deadline

2.3m people yet to file their tax return

Millions of self-employed fail to meet 31 January self-assessment deadline

According to HMRC, around 10.2 million people submitted their self-assessment tax return by 31 January. However, as many as 2.3 million freelancers, contractors and self-employed workers are yet to do so. 

As a result, HMRC has urged these people to complete their personal tax return by the end of February to avoid a £100 late filing penalty.

More than 630,000 were said to have filed on the day of the deadline, with the peak hour for submissions between 4-5 pm – around 52,475 completed their tax returns during this period.

Nearly 21,000 people left it to the last minute, submitting their forms between 11 pm and midnight.

Interest is charged from 1 February

In addition to encouraging the self-employed who haven’t filed to do so as soon as possible, HMRC warned that anyone who is yet to pay their tax bill or set up a payment plan will incur interest on all outstanding balances from 1 February.

Those who haven’t paid their tax in full yet have until 1 April to either settle their accounts or agree to a payment plan if they want to avoid a late filing fee.

HMRC also suggested that those who are unable to file their tax return should pay an estimated amount as soon as possible in order to minimise the interest.

Mike Butchart, managing director at QAccounting, said: “The rise in people catching Covid has made it difficult for many self-employed people to submit their tax returns on time. 

“But while the late penalty fee has been waived, interest is being applied from 1 February. So the longer it’s left, the more interest they will be charged by HMRC.”

What does this mean for the self-employed?

The news is a reminder to those who have yet to complete their self-assessment to prioritise this. 

For more information and to have a trusted accountant organise your self-assessment tax return from as little as £99 + VAT, please click here.

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