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Covid and 19/20 Paper tax return

edited 13 January at 11:28PM in Cutting Tax
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gt94sss2gt94sss2 Forumite
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edited 13 January at 11:28PM in Cutting Tax
I know it's still a couple of weeks until 31 January but was wondering if anyone know what the position would be if a paper tax return was sent to HMRC by the end of October 2020 but the taxpayer hasn't received their tax assessment from HMRC by 31 January 2021?
I could see this happening as HMRC will have been as affected as everyone else by Covid/lockdowns and also as the Royal Mail is struggling to deliver letters in parts of the country.

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  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    It should have arrived by now. Chase HMRC.
  • purdyoaten2purdyoaten2 Forumite
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    It should have arrived by now. Chase HMRC.
    Not least to acknowledge that it has been safely received. 
  • edited 14 January at 1:49PM
    macmanmacman Forumite
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    edited 14 January at 1:49PM
    Filing online will greatly speed things up: with so many staff working from home, many big organisations are running their postrooms on a minimal basis.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    macman said:
    Filing online will greatly speed things up: with so many staff working from home, many big organisations are running their postrooms on a minimal basis.
    For next year. I would not recommend filing an online return after filing a paper return, unless you find out that HMRC never got the paper return.
  • edited 15 January at 9:01PM
    gt94sss2gt94sss2 Forumite
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    edited 15 January at 9:01PM
    So I used HMRC's SA webchat facility today. They confirmed that they had received the tax return - which I was expecting as I sent it "Royal Mail Signed For" in October - but that's where the conversation took an unexpected turn.

    I quote:
    We have your return but have not processed it yet. we will process it by 3 March 2021 If you owe anything you need to pay it by the due date. Do not wait for the calculation. Any repayment will follow within a further 3 weeks
    And when asked how I was supposed to know how much to pay (as one advantage of doing it by paper is that HMRC calculate the amount due)
    You will need to estimate an amount. HMRC will calculate the amount once we have processed the tax return 
    I will try calling them over the weekend, to see if I get a different response!

    Appreciate that filing online is probably easier in future but old habits die hard - especially as I used to work in one of those groups who are not allowed/able to file online..
  • edited 15 January at 9:17PM
    MDMDMDMD Forumite
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    edited 15 January at 9:17PM
    If they haven’t processed it by 31 January, there is not much you can do about it, other than appeal any 5% surcharge for late payment, or object to the interest.

    You should have a reasonable excuse, but it’s probably worth paying an estimated amount if you think you will owe anything. The first late payment surcharge will be 30 days after after 31 January.

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/self-assessment-manual/sam61250
  • MDMDMDMD Forumite
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    macman said:
    Filing online will greatly speed things up: with so many staff working from home, many big organisations are running their postrooms on a minimal basis.
    HMRC scan all their post (including tax returns) in now - it’s all processed remotely. They only have minimal staff working in post rooms.

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/self-assessment-manual/sam120515
  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    There are some calculators here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators

    You may prefer not to reveal any details, but if you are OK with doing so, there are probably some posters on here that could help. I doubt any accountant will have time to help at this time of year.
  • purdyoaten2purdyoaten2 Forumite
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    Personally - I would be vehemently opposing any surcharge levied on 28th February. The whole point of the 31st October deadline was to enable HMRC to have sufficient time to calculate. Of course, any surcharge is only on the balancing payment for 2019/20. I wonder if the op made payments on account for that year.
  • noitsnotmenoitsnotme Forumite
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    gt94sss2 said:
    one advantage of doing it by paper is that HMRC calculate the amount due
    If you file online, HMRC will calculate the amount due, the difference being you will only need to wait about 30 seconds rather than several weeks/months.
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