If you haven’t paid what you owe within 30 days of the filing date of your self-assessment return for that year, you’ll be charged a penalty. The good news is that HMRC has relaxed this rule for the 2019/20 tax year. What’s the full story?

HMRC has today (19 February) announced that self-assessment taxpayers won’t be charged the automatic 5% late payment penalty if they pay what they owe for 2019/20 or set up a payment plan by 1 April 2021.

Normally, a 5% late payment penalty is charged on any unpaid tax that is still outstanding on 3 March following the end of the tax year. But this year, because of the impact of the pandemic, HMRC is giving taxpayers more time to pay or set up a payment plan.

Note that HMRC will stick to the normal rule of charging interest at 2.6% per annum for all self-assessment bills not paid on time.

You can pay your tax bill or set up a monthly payment plan here. You need to do this by midnight on 1 April to prevent being charged a late payment penalty.

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