09 March 2021

Nearly one in ten people are likely to still be excluded from the fourth and fifth SEISS grants because they failed to file their tax return by the end of February– commentary from Kevin Sefton from untied, the UK’s personal tax app:

“We understand there were still around 1.1 million 2019/20 self-assessment tax returns outstanding at the beginning of March 2021. This is nearly 10% of all expected tax returns when the average over the previous three years has been only 7%.

“The Chancellor has said that only those self-employed individuals who filed a 2019-20 self-assessment tax return by midnight on 2 March 2021 will be eligible for rounds four and five of Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants. Therefore, these figures indicate that almost one in ten people could still be excluded from these grants.

“There were record numbers of tax returns outstanding on 31 January 2021 and our analysis shows that the numbers outstanding remain much higher than in previous years. These figures are exceptional, and many of these people will have struggled to file their taxes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Over one million people now face the possibility of a £100 penalty for not filing a tax return and some of these people also now face the double blow of missing out on the chance to claim a SEISS coronavirus support grant.

“We appreciate there may be practical difficulties to overcome for HMRC in giving a further extension for outstanding returns, but we are surprised and shocked by the large numbers still not filed and concerned that many individuals will miss out on claiming much needed financial support, when coronavirus is potentially the very reason why they could not meet their return obligations.

“We therefore urge the government to consider allowing a further grace period for these people. We also encourage anyone that still has to submit their taxes to do so as soon as possible and endeavour to pay anything you might owe by 1 April 2021. If this is not possible do speak to HMRC and arrange a payment plan.”

– Ends –

For further information:

Chantal Heckford pr@untied.io