HM Revenue & Customs has extended the deadline for people to complete their self-assessment tax returns following problems with its website.
The government department said it was giving people an extra 24 hours until midnight on Friday (today) to get their returns and any tax they owe to it, without people being liable for a £100 fine.
The move comes after the self-assessment website crashed at around 10.30am on Thursday as thousands of people rushed to get their returns back before the previous deadline of midnight on Thursday.
An HMRC spokesman said: ‘HMRC’s Self Assessment on-line filing service has experienced technical difficulties this morning which has meant that some taxpayers have experienced difficulties filing on-line.
‘The system is now rapidly returning to normal levels of service. A record number of 3.6 million taxpayers have already successfully filed on-line with 104,000 filing today (Thursday).
‘HMRC takes any disruption of service very seriously and to reflect this no-one who files electronically or by paper by midnight Friday February 1 will face a penalty.’
Late payment charge
Around 150,000 people filed a self assessment tax return on 31 January last year, and the number of people leaving it to the last day is expected to be similar this year.
Those who miss the deadline incur an initial £100 late payment charge, followed by a further £60 a day for each day the money is late, as well as interest.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, accused HMRC of letting down the public.
He said: ‘This would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. HMRC have yet again let down the taxpaying public, who only want to file their tax returns on time as they are told to.’