CIOT welcomes waiving of late filing penalties for self-assessment

6 Jan 2022

Commenting on HMRC’s announcement today (Thurs) that they will not charge late filing penalties for those who file online by 28 February 2022 and late payment penalties for those who pay the tax due in full or set up a payment plan by 1 April 2022, CIOT’s Director of Public Policy John Cullinane said:

“We are pleased that HMRC will waive late filing and late payment penalties for one month. Today’s announcement shows HMRC have listened and acted on the concerns of our tax adviser members who report increased pressures on their workloads and significant staff absences because of impact of the COVID pandemic, particularly the Omicron variant which is widespread during the peak filing period.”

HMRC said it has acted because tax advisers and accountants are at the forefront of advice for affected taxpayers but are dealing or likely to deal with staff absences in January because of the pandemic.

But John Cullinane warns:

“Taxpayers should beware that this is not a deferral of the tax return deadline itself. Where possible taxpayers should continue to file their return and pay any tax due by 31 January, as interest will still accrue from 1 February.

“This is not an opportunity for tax advisers to ‘shelve’ their tax obligations. A £100 late filing penalty could still apply if the tax return is not filed by midnight on 28 February, and a five per cent tax geared penalty will be charged if there is any outstanding tax at midnight on 1 April, unless a payment plan has been agreed with HMRC.”

John Cullinane added:

“We would like the situation to remain under constant review. For example, it may be appropriate to introduce further easements similar to last year, such as extending the time limits for appealing any penalties which are levied and allowing tax advisers to make ‘bulk’ appeals on behalf of their clients.”