More self-assessors meet tax deadline than ever before

Concern for self-assessors that too many would struggle to get their tax returns in on time because they had left it to the eleventh hour appears to have been overblown.

Revealing fresh internal figures, the taxman said that a new record high of 94 per cent of self-assessment forms were received before the midnight deadline on January 31st.   

Put another way, all but six per cent of self-assessors -- the equivalent of a still significant 700,000 people -- avoided an automatic, fixed late-filing penalty of £100.

Roughly the same proportion -- 700,000 taxpayers, submitted their returns on the very last day possible, last Thursday, with most doing their filing between 1600 and 1700.

In fact, some 60,000 self-assessors logged their returns during this 60-minute window, out of a total 10.1million online filers in total.

"For any customers who are yet to file their returns," the Revenue's Angela MacDonald said addressing the 700,000 who missed the deadline, "please contact HMRC – we are here to help.”

Further echoing the advice of accountants, the Revenue added: "Contact HMRC [because] the department will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses penalties on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. The excuse must be genuine and HMRC may ask for evidence."


5th February 2019

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