1.8m taxpayers miss January 31 self-assessment deadline

Around 1.8 million taxpayers have missed the January 31 self-assessment deadline, figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show.

More than 10.7 million people submitted their 2019/20 self-assessment tax returns by the deadline.

The remaining 1.8 million whose tax return is now late will not be charged a late filing penalty provided they submit their return online by February 28.

HMRC previously announced that anyone who could not file their return by the usual January deadline would not receive a penalty if they filed online by the end of this month.

But taxpayers were still obliged to pay their bills by the end of January and they will incur interest on any money outstanding.

HMRC said those who are not yet able to file their tax return should pay an estimated amount as soon as possible, which will minimise any interest and late payment penalty. Self-employed people can use a calculator on gov.uk to help estimate their tax bill.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s interim director general for customer services, said: “Thank you to the 10.7 million customers who have sent in their tax returns.

“We won’t send anyone a late filing penalty if they complete their tax return by February 28.

“We know that many individuals and small businesses are finding it harder to pay this year, due to the pandemic. Anyone who can’t afford to pay their tax bill in full can set up a payment plan, once they’ve filed their return, to spread their tax bill into monthly instalments.”