Self Assessment Deadline and penalties – 2 days grace

HMRC have announced that they won’t impose late filing penalties on taxpayers who file their Self Assessment up to February 2nd this year, i.e. up to two days late. The announcement has been made amongst fears that some taxpayers would not be able to get through to HMRC’s call centres on 31 January 2012 where strike action by some employees has been threatened. People who need to call in for last minute help or advice could be disadvantaged without this deadline extension.

In HMRC’s words:

‘The Self Assessment deadline remains midnight on 31 January. But HMRC will treat all returns that come in by midnight on 2 February as though they were submitted by 31 January. No customer will have to pay interest on payments due on 31 January that are paid on 1 or 2 February.

This gives a welcome respite to those who habitually leave things to the last minute and then struggle to file online on the evening of the 31st – while the HMRC system creaks and groans and freezes up, leaving one wondering if the Return actually got fully uploaded or not. Not that I leave it that late of course – I fully intend to file mine by late afternoon at the latest.