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HMRC to waive self-assessment tax fines

HMRC has announced that it will waive penalties for self-employed tax returns that are up to a month late, due to the ongoing impact of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

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Self-employed tax returns can be filed up to one month late without penalty

Self-employed people are required to file their self-assessment by January 31st, with returns submitted after this date subject to a fine.

However, with many self-employed people and businesses continuing to struggle under the weight of Covid-19, and with a large portion of these yet to receive any financial support from the government, HMRC will waive fines for a month.

Derek Cribb, chief executive of IPSE the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), welcomed the move, saying it will provide some relief for those struggling to file their tax returns on time.

“We are pleased that HMRC has heeded our calls to show some leniency as 2020 was a financially devastating year for the self-employed, especially the estimated 1.5m who missed out on the SEISS.

“This will move will give many of them some much-needed breathing space to get their financial affairs in order.

“While this is a helpful intervention, we believe HMRC could go further to relieve some of the financial stress on the self-employed.

“In particular, we would urge government to do the decent thing and drop the late payment penalties on tax owed as well, to allow freelancers to pay this back in instalments without the threat of fines.”   

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