Record 10m Tax Returns Online but 1m Miss Deadline

Published / Last Updated on 03/02/2020

HMRC has released figures confirming that 10.4 million customers submitted their Self-Assessment tax return online by the 31st January deadline.

In total, paper and online, 11.7 million returns were due by 11.59pm on the 31st January and with more than 700,000 filing their returns on the final day, it means over 1.3 million missed the deadline

The peak was between 4pm and 4.59pm when 56,969 submitted their returns.  Between 11pm and 11.59pm 26,569 filed their tax return at the last minute.

HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services Angela MacDonald said: “ Its great to see most customers have submitted and paid their tax returns before the 31st deadline.

Comparing Self-Assessment numbers 2020 to Self-Assessment 2019, numbers are up

  • 11.7 million Self-Assessment returns due (2019 - 11.56 million)
  • 11,122,967 returns received by 31 January. This includes expected returns, unsolicited returns and late registrations (2019 - 10,833,177)
  • 10,760,043 expected returns received by 31 January (91.82% of returns expected) (2019 - 10,468,177 i.e. 90.52%)
  • 362,924 unsolicited returns/late registrations (3.26%) (2019 - 365,000 i.e. 3.36%)
  • 958,296 taxpayers missed the deadline (8.18%) (2019 - 1,096,186 i.e. 9.48%)
  • 702,171 taxpayers filed their returns on 31 January, peak filing hour was 4pm to 4:59pm (56,969 returns received)
  • 10,450,542 returns were filed online (93.95% of total filed)
  • HMRC has changed the methodology of presenting Self-Assessment data that aligns with legislative changes (12 February 2019) which clarify treatment of voluntary (Unsolicited) Self-Assessment Returns.

Late Returns

HMRC states: “Customers that have missed the deadline need to get in touch and they will treat genuine excuses leniently as their focus is the customers that always fail to complete their tax returns in time."

Penalties for late tax returns are:

  • £100 initial fixed penalty, even if there is no tax to pay or if the tax due is paid on time.
  • After 3 months an additional daily penalty of £10 per day maybe charged up to a maximum of £90.00
  • After 6 months a further 5% of the tax due or £300 whichever the greater
  • After 12 months another 5% or £300 charge whichever the greater
  • There are additional penalties for late payer of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

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