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Set up Self Assessment payment plans by 1 April 2021

SELF Assessment taxpayers have until 1 April 2021 to pay any outstanding tax liabilities in full or set up an online payment plan for the 2019 to 2020 financial year to avoid incurring penalty charges, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has urged.

Last month, HMRC said that due to the impact of the Covid19 Pandemic, they were giving Self Assessment taxpayers more time to pay their tax or set up a payment plan without facing a 5% late payment penalty charge, as long as arrangements were in place by midnight on 1 April 2021.

Those who have yet to settle their liabilities for the 2019 to 2020 financial year can pay their tax bill or set up a monthly payment plan online at GOV.UK. They can pay online, via their bank, or by post. Alternatively, setting up a 'Time to Pay' arrangement allows taxpayers to spread the cost of their Self Assessment tax bill into monthly instalments until January 2022.

Anyone worried about paying their tax and unable to set up a payment plan online should contact HMRC for help and support on:- 03002003822.

Almost 117,000 taxpayers have set up a self serve 'Time to Pay' arrangement online, totalling more than ₤437 million.

There is no change to the payment deadline and other obligations are not affected. This means that:-

The payment deadline remains 31 January 2021 and interest will be charged on late payment. The current rate of late payment interest is 2.6%

A 5% late payment penalty will be charged if tax remains outstanding, and a payment plan has not been set up, by midnight on 1 April 2021. Further late payment penalties are charged at 6 and 12 months (August 2021 and February 2022 respectively), on tax outstanding where a payment plan has not been set up

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. Visit:- Gov.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.

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 contact via:- Gov.UK.

30.6 million Brits currently at risk of digital exclusion due to a drop in cash use

AT least 30.6 million Brits could be at risk of being left vulnerable in society due to an inability to use digital payment methods amidst a significant drop in cash use, new data reveals.

Global Payment Trends collates official data from payment reports and demographic statistics to reveal the potential societal repercussions of digital exclusivity, whereby coins, banknotes and cheques are replaced by eWallets, credit transfers and debit cards.

Analysis has revealed that if this reduced access to cash continues, 30.6 vulnerable Brits would suffer due to their dependence on physical payment methods; including the 17.032 million people identified by Mind as struggling with their mental health on a daily basis.

Also at risk in the UK are the 280,000 Brits that are estimated to be homeless, the 11.9 million residents aged 65 and over that may struggle to adapt to digital services due to a generational divide, and the 1.3 million people that are currently unbanked.

Data reveals that cash use fell by 71% across the UK based on eCommerce transactions, while digital/mobile wallets are now the top online checkout method. This noticeable decline in cash use appears to have been accelerated during the Pandemic given the closure of brick-and-mortar stores.

This paired with the World Health Organization's earlier concerns that the virus could be transmitted via banknotes could leave millions of people without vital access to cash.

Vulnerable members of UK society:-

Mentally Ill Homeless
280,000 11,989,322
Aged 65+ Unbanked
1,300,000 17,032,285

According to Mind, more than ½ of the 12 million people currently living with severe mental health problems in the UK have difficulties carrying out essential admin tasks via the phone, while more than 1 in 5 people with mental issues struggle to deal with crucial services.

It's never been more important for Government bodies to ensure adequate provisions are in place to support vulnerable members of society; especially given that the incidence of poor mental health across the UK is suspected to have increased during the Pandemic.

Helen Undy, Chief Executive of the Money and Mental Health Institute, said:- "When you're struggling with your mental health it can be much harder to stay in work or manage your spending, while being in debt can cause huge stress and anxiety; so the two issues feed off each other, creating a vicious cycle which can destroy lives. Ensuring that money advice is routinely offered to people using mental health services would increase recovery rates, as well as improving the financial wellbeing of the millions of people currently dealing with this terrifying combination of problems."

To find out more about the impacts of digital exclusion in the Global Payment Trends study, visit:- a2zcasinos.Org

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