One of the other conditions to qualify for a SEISS grant is that the individual submitted a tax return for 2018/19 reporting self-employed income. If this return was not received by midnight on 23 April 2020 no SEISS claim was possible.
This may have spurred many taxpayers to submit their 2018/19 SA returns without further delay. However not all SA tax returns include self-employed profits, and there may still be a large number of 2018/19 returns outstanding which are accruing penalties.
The £100 penalty for being one day late with a tax return is well known, but there are also penalties of £10 per day for each day the return is more than three months late, capped at £900.
For the 2018/19 SA return these daily penalties would have accrued from 1 May to 30 July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. HMRC has decided not to collect the daily penalties for late 2018/19 tax returns in recognition of the difficulty many people had in completing tax returns in that period. Also, to impose the daily penalties HMRC need to give notice to the taxpayer, which in many cases will not have happened.
The further penalties due for tax returns which are over six months late, or 12 months late, will still apply.