According to online tax advisory firm Blick Rothenberg, thousands of people may mistakenly believe the date for filing tax returns has been extended.
Fiona Fernie, a tax dispute resolution partner at the firm, said: “Despite the rumours that have been circulating, the deadline for submitting self-assessment tax returns has not been extended beyond January 31, 2021.
“Taxpayers should therefore be doing their utmost to comply, not least to save the time and possible expense involved in appealing penalties for late submission. It appears to be a popular misconception the deadline has been extended but that is not the case.
“Some professional bodies have lobbied HMRC for an extension, while others have merely asked HMRC to waive late filing penalties in relation to returns filed before March 1, 2021, at this already difficult time.
“The penalty for missing the filing deadline by less than three months is £100, which may not seem a great deal, but is an added pressure when people are struggling as a result of the pandemic.
“In addition, once a return is over three months late, the penalties rise quickly, with the next stage being the imposition of daily penalties of £10 – up to a maximum of £900).
“So far, HMRC have not agreed to waive late filing penalties but Jim Harra, chief executive and First Permanent Secretary has written to professional bodies confirming that no-one will have to pay a penalty if they cannot file on time because of the impact of the pandemic.”