A record breaking 11.1 million taxpayers made their contribution to the UK’s public services by hitting the 31st January deadline.
The number of people filing online soared to more than 10.4 million for the first time ever.
Interestingly, more than 700,000 submitted their tax returns on deadline day – the peak hour for filing was between 4pm to 4:59pm when 56,969 filed.
Thousands of customers filed their tax returns at the last minute with 26,562 completing their returns from 11pm to 11:59pm on Friday 31st January.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said, “It’s great to see that the majority of customers have submitted and paid their tax returns before 31 January. While few people enjoy the process it’s good to get it out the way and know you have contributed towards our vital public services. I’d like to thank everyone who filed and paid on time, but anyone yet to file or pay should contact HMRC straight away because we are here to help.”
The data also found that 1,096,186 taxpayers missed the deadline (9.48%) – HMRC has said that customers who have missed the deadline should contact them as soon as possible. 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.
The penalties for late tax returns are:
- An initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time;
- After 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day may be charged, up to a maximum of £900;
- After 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
- After 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
- There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.
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