Martin Lewis urges self-employed to file tax return quickly in case SEISS grant 4 changes | Personal Finance | Finance

Martin Lewis exclusively revealed on Friday night that the details of the fourth SEISS grant would be revealed by HM Treasury at the spring Budget on March 3. This particular grant, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last year, is intended to cover the period from February to April.

The financial journalist and campaigner also addressed how unlike previous grants, this one will be one which people can apply for following the 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment Tax Return deadline.

As such, it may be that there is a change to eligibility rules – although this speculation.

This particular tax return deadline is a matter of days away – falling at midnight on January 31, 2020.

“If we try and add two and two together, and I am perhaps making five, so everything I am about to say is supposition, and I need to be very plain on that,” he began, before suggesting there is both “principled problems and practical problems” as it stands.


“I think there is a unique opportunity for the fourth grant to address some of those practical problems,” Martin stated.

“The first being that you have to have filled in a 2018/19 tax return in order to be eligible for this grant.

“Well, by that time, at the end of this month, people will have filled in their 2019/20 tax returns.

“We will have passed the deadline.

“So I think it is certainly plausible that that income will now be included into the assessment, and I would give that a better than 50 percent chance of happening.

“And, I would certainly urge anybody who is self-employed, even if you’ve not been eligible for this help, to get your tax return in quickly.”

HMRC announced a temporary change to the rules regarding penalty charges for late filing of Self Assessment tax returns on Monday.

It means those who cannot file their tax return by the January 31 deadline won’t receive a late filing penalty, provided they file it online by February 28.

However, HMRC is still encouraging anyone who needs to file a return but who has not yet done so, to do this by the January 31 deadline, if possible.

Taxpayers are still obliged to pay their tax bill by January 31.

Interest will be charged from February 1 on any outstanding liabilities.

HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jim Harra, said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away.

“But we recognise the immense pressure that many people are facing in these unprecedented times and it has become increasingly clear that some people will not be able to file their return by January 31.

“Not charging late filing penalties for late online tax returns submitted in February will give them the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty.

“We can reasonably assume most of these people will have a valid reason for filing late, caused by the pandemic.”

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