Self-Assessment Tax Return Filing Deadline Should be Extended

Self-Assessment tax returns that are due at the end of this month should be extended by at least a month, said leading tax and advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg.

Robert Salter, a service director in the firm’s global mobility team, said: ‘Given the Government’s introduction of lockdown throughout England, and the similar restrictions which apply in the other home nations, there should be an extension to the 2019–2020 tax return filing deadline which is due by 31st January.’

‘With the various lockdowns that people have experienced since March 2020, many are struggling to get together the data that they need often from 3rd parties. However, as things presently stand, if they are not able to finalise their tax returns by the 31st, they would be subject to automatic late filing penalties even if there is no tax due.’

Robert added: ‘The Government should look at extending the deadline by at least four weeks and potentially six or eight weeks. This will provide additional time for taxpayers to gather the data they need to file the tax return correctly, but also provide advantages.’

‘Extending the tax return filing deadline in this way will provide HMRC with more opportunity to actually issue tax return ID Numbers (Unique Taxpayer Reference Numbers), which are an essential requirement for tax returns to be filed electronically.’

Robert concluded that: ‘The Government has actually already shown some flexibility with the self-assessment tax system – e.g., repayments on the account and balancing tax liabilities. Given the recent re-introduction of the lockdown, it would be sensible to show flexibility re the filing deadline too.’