According to a recent report from HMRC, nearly two million people missed the self-assessment filing deadline on 31 January.

Self-assessment deadline missed submissions

The latest figures have revealed that 10.7 million people submitted their self-assessment tax return on time, but a record 1.8 million were late. This is almost double the figure from the previous year.

Here is a quick summary of facts from self-assessments in 2021:

  • 12.1 million SA returns due
  • 10,743,387 returns received by 31 January – this includes Expected Returns, unsolicited returns and Late Registrations
  • 10,351,387 Expected Returns received by 31 January (85.25% of returns expected)
  • 392,000 unsolicited returns/Late Registrations (3.65%)
  • 1,790,368 taxpayers missed the deadline (14.74%)
  • 10,274,940 returns were filed online (95.64% of total filed)

What you can do if you missed the deadline

If you are one of the late filers, you can still avoid the 5% late payment penalty providing you pay your tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement by 1‌‌ April. However, you will have been charged interest from 1 February.

The 31 January deadline hasn’t changed, but due to the impact of COVID-19 HMRC is giving taxpayers more time to pay or set up a payment plan.

If you are not yet able to file your tax return you should at least pay an estimated amount as soon as you can. Doing so will minimise any interest and late payment penalty.

If you are self-employed, you can use the calculator on the Government website to help estimate your bill.

Set up a payment plan

The Time to Pay option allows you to spread the cost of your tax liabilities. You will be able to break it down into 12 monthly instalments until January 2022 and avoid a 5% late payment penalty.

In order to set up a payment plan you must meet the following requirements:

  • have no:
    • outstanding tax returns
    • other tax debts
    • other HMRC payment plans set up
  • the debt needs to be between £32 and £30,000
  • the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date for payment – but ideally, you would do this as soon as possible.

If you do not meet these requirements or need more than 12 months to pay off your bill, you can speak to one of HMRC’s debt advisors who can help you apply for a plan.

Find out more information and get support with your self-assessment tax return.