Around 1.8 million taxpayers failed to submit their self-assessment tax returns by the deadline of 31 January 2021, according to HMRC.

Despite missing the deadline, those with late tax returns will not be charged a late filing penalty, provided they submit their return online by 28 February.

The tax authority also revealed over 10.7 million people submitted their 2019/20 self-assessment tax return by the deadline.

HMRC warned that customers who failed to pay their tax bill by 31 January are now incurring interest on the outstanding balance and should pay as soon as possible.

It said to avoid a 5% late payment penalty, taxpayers should make any outstanding payment or arrange a payment plan by 3 March 2021.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s interim director-general for customer services, said:

“Thank you to the 10.7 million customers who have sent in their tax returns. We won’t send anyone a late filing penalty if they complete their tax return by 28 February.

“We know that many individuals and small businesses are finding it harder to pay this year, due to the pandemic.

“Anyone who can’t afford to pay their tax bill in full can set up a payment plan, once they’ve filed their return, to spread their tax bill into monthly instalments.”

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