Tax return deadline extended for flooding victims
HMRC has said that businesses and individuals required to complete a 2014/15 self assessment tax return by 31 January could be given an extended deadline if they were affected by the flooding in December.
Storm Desmond and Storm Eva caused millions of pounds’ worth of damage, with some 16,000 houses in England affected by the floods. Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire were the worst hit, with thousands more homes in Scotland hit by further storms after Christmas.
Under normal circumstances, anyone filing up to three months late faces a penalty of £100, a sum that increases for those filing more than three months late. With vital paperwork related to tax returns likely to have been lost or damaged, HMRC has said that anyone who felt they were unable to file before the 31 January deadline should contact them and agree a new deadline, while those who miss the deadline will have the opportunity to appeal.
HMRC will also agree to instalments if taxpayers are unable to pay as a result of the floods, and debt collection proceedings will be suspended for those affected by flooding.
However, you should note that penalties are automatically generated, so if you believe you would qualify for an extension you should inform HMRC. Note that this is not an indefinite suspension of self assessment penalties.
For those affected by flooding, tax helpline details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/flooding
Do contact us if you need more help with self assessment.