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News Report Page 8 of 10
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More help for Self Assessment Taxpayers

SELF Assessment Taxpayers will not be charged a 5% late payment penalty if they pay their tax or set up a payment plan by 1 April 2021, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced.

The payment deadline for Self Assessment, was on 31 January 2021, and interest is charged from 1 February 2021, on any amounts outstanding. Normally, a 5% late payment penalty is also charged on any unpaid tax that is still outstanding on 3 March 2021. But this year (2021) because of the impact of the Covid19 Pandemic, HMRC is giving taxpayers more time to pay or set up a payment plan.

Taxpayers can pay their tax bill or set up a monthly payment plan online. They need to do this by midnight on 1 April 2021, in order to prevent being charged a late payment penalty.

The online Time to Pay facility allows taxpayers to spread the cost of their Self Assessment Tax Bill into monthly instalments until January 2022.

HMRC recognises the pressure affecting taxpayers due to the Pandemic, and encourages anyone worried about paying their tax and unable to set up a payment plan online to contact HMRC for help and support on:- 03002003822.

More than 97,260 customers have set up a self serve Time to Pay arrangement online, totalling more than ₤367 million.

Jim Harra, HMRC's Chief Executive said:- "Anyone worried about paying their tax can set up a payment plan to spread the cost into monthly instalments. Support is available at Gov.UK to help anyone struggling to meet their obligations."

There are several ways that taxpayers can pay their Self Assessment Tax Bill in full. They can pay online, via their bank, or by post. More information on how to pay is at:- Gov.UK. Taxpayers should still pay in full if they can. This is the only way to stop interest accruing.

Self Assessment Taxpayers who are required to make Payments on Account, and know their 2020 to 2021 tax bill is going to be lower than in 2019 to 2020; for example due to loss of earnings because of Covid19; can reduce their Payments on Account. Visit:- Gov.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.

Self Assessment Taxpayers who have yet to file their 2019 to 2020 Tax Return should be file by 28 February 2021 to prevent being charged a late filing penalty of ₤100  .

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. Taxpayers should search:- 'self assessment' on Gov.UK to get the correct link for their Self Assessment Tax Return online securely and free of charge. They also need to be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that they can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax. It might be a scam. Check Gov.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC.

A 3rd of UK parents want to home school after the Pandemic

A 3rd of UK parents are considering home schooling their children even after Schools reopen, new research has revealed, with young parents the most likely to continue. The study, conducted by home education provider, Oxford Home Schooling, found that 30% of the nation's parents are thinking of home schooling permanently. This figure rises to 36% among parents aged between 25 and 34, which is more than any other age group.

This is partly because, despite the challenges, many families are enjoying the home schooling experience. 43% parents say that they like teaching their children. Dads are enjoying home schooling more than Mums, with 48% of male parents reflecting on the experience positively, compared to 38% of women.

Around the country, Londoners are savouring the experience the most, with 55% of parents in the capital saying they are enjoying home schooling. Belfast is a close 2nd, at 54%. In contrast, just 15% of parents in Edinburgh say they like teaching their children; the lowest rate of any City in the UK.

For those who are thinking of home schooling full time, Greg Smith, Head of Operations, at home education provider Oxford Home Schooling, has provided 5 tips on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

1. Make sure you notify your child's School - You do not need to ask permission to home educate from either your child's School or your Local Authority, but you must let the School know in writing about your decision. If you are removing your child from a special School, then you are also required to inform the Local Authority. Some Councils will provide guidance and free course materials. Occasionally they will also make informal enquiries to make sure your child is getting a sufficient education, so be ready to provide evidence such as work samples or reports.

2. Consider how long you're planning on home schooling - Some parents may want to trial home schooling for a few months, or even a few years, before returning their child to mainstream education. If this is the case, you should definitely choose a provider or system that closely follows the national curriculum. 1 of the benefits of home schooling is that parents have flexibility with the content they teach, but if there is any chance that the children will go back to School in the future, you should not deviate too much from the standard syllabus. This will make it easier for your child to read just should they eventually decide to return to School.

3. Identify the best teaching style for your child - If your child is over 5 years old, you are legally obliged to provide a full time education, but you can decide what that involves. Every child learns at their own pace and in their own way and the beauty of home schooling is that you can cater your teaching to complement this. Some home school students respond best to structured learning, with timetables and routines, while others will thrive in a less rigid environment. If you think the latter may be most suitable, allow your child to explore their interests and shape their learning around these. You may find that active or practical exercises are more productive than traditional textbook tasks.

4. Think about the logistics - It is important to consider who will be doing the majority of the home schooling and whether they can realistically devote enough time to make it effective. The flexibility of home education means it is possible to do it while working full time, but this is naturally a bit more challenging. Consider sharing teaching responsibilities with your partner, a family member or someone else from the home schooling community. Alternatively, you could home school, on an evening or a weekend, or think about changing your work shifts.

5. Remember you won't be alone - Our latest research found that home schooling in the UK has more than doubled in recent years. Virtually every Local Authority has seen large increases and there are now home schooling communities all over the country that frequently meet up. These communities are always willing to welcome new members and answer questions, so before you commit to home education, check out your local group's Facebook page.

People sometimes doubt whether homeschooled children develop social skills at the same rate as those in traditional education. However, in reality, they can often surpass their peers in this regard, as by attending local home schooling events, students socialise with a wider age range of children and this massively helps with confidence.

For more information on what is required from home schooling parents, visit:- OxfordHomeSchooling.Co.UK.

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