Self-employed professional drivers catch a break – Fine by us!

Self-employed professional drivers hail HMRC’s late filing penalty announcement.

It may sound like something that has been decided by “VAR”, but a last-minute penalty decision has been made by HMRC, and it appears to have been welcome news for many!

Including we suspect the professional driving industry, which right now is on its knees.

On 26 January, an official HMRC statement clearly said;

“Self Assessment customers who cannot file their tax return by the 31 January 2021 deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February”.


However, the devil is in the detail…

This is only a temporary reprieve and taxpayers are still obliged to pay their bill by 31 January.

Thereafter interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities.

What has changed is the fine aspect of the late filing.

It may not make a huge difference, but it may offer a small crumb of momentary monetary comfort in a year that has been catastrophic for self-employed professional drivers, like taxi drivers and driving instructors.

Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their tax bill on time can apply online to spread their bill over up to 12 months.

But they will need to file their 2019 to 2020 tax return before setting up a time to pay arrangement, so HMRC is encouraging everyone to do this as soon as possible.

The Drivers Tax App can help you submit your self-assessment return in just 15 minutes!


HMRC’s chief executive Jim Harra was in a sympathetic mood, stating;

“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 31 January”.

We would suggest that this immense pressure has been felt more keenly in the taxi industry than many, with the huge impact of the lockdown on hospitality and travel causing a trickle-down effect among professional drivers across the UK.

Mr Harra said he hoped the announcement, “will give them the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty.”

That remains to be seen.

In the meantime, we can help you submit your return in just 15 minutes.

That should beat any new deadline HMRC sets.

Talk to us today about how we can help.

Once you have completed your 2019 to 2020 tax return, you can set up an online payment plan with HMRC to spread Self Assessment bills up to or over 12 monthly instalments.


You can apply for self-serve Time to Pay via GOV.UK. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

Self-employed professional drivers catching a break?  Nice!