Complying with your tax obligations

Meeting your obligations amid COVID-19 disruption.

It’s not often that HMRC makes exceptions to its tax deadlines or late-filing penalties, but the past year has, as in so many ways, been different.

Between optional deadline deferrals, new payment schemes and temporary reliefs, keeping on top of the changes to the usual tax timetable hasn’t been easy.

In total, HMRC has made more than 60 temporary policy changes or clarifications in response to the impact of COVID-19, and plans to “keep the situation under constant review”.

As a general rule, however, we recommend sticking to your usual tax deadlines if you can.

It might be tempting to push back your tax obligations and give yourself just a bit more time if the option’s there, but doing this can create more work for you in the long run, and lead to a bigger bill to cover in one go.

In a policy paper published in November 2020, HMRC’s approach to tax collection amid COVID-19 disruption was as follows:

“We are issuing penalty notices to businesses and individuals who have not met their obligations, but we’ll take a sympathetic approach to those who are struggling to pay their tax or file their returns on time.

“We will accept the impacts of COVID-19 as a reasonable excuse and offer longer periods to request a review or lodge an appeal.”

Download our full complying with your tax obligations business guide here.