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Tax return deadline: HMRC announcement

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HMRC has confirmed that it will not impose late filing penalties for taxpayers who file their self-assessment tax return on 1 or 2 February. A statement posted on the HMRC website last night reads:

"The SA 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 ."

As Tax Journal reported yesterday, HMRC is effectively extending the deadline to allow more time for taxpayers who seek help on 31 January but are unable to get through because of strike action by HMRC staff.

The ICAEW Tax Faculty posted a reminder that a taxpayer who files after 2 February will incur a penalty of £100, even if all the tax due on 31 January has been paid: "However, the penalty can be cancelled if the taxpayer can successfully claim that they had a reasonable excuse that prevented them submitting the return on time."