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It’s a cracker! 3,275 file tax returns on Christmas Day

As millions of people enjoyed Christmas festivities this year, for 3,275, Christmas Day was the perfect time to file their Self Assessment tax return, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

A total of 22,060 customers went online to submit their form for the 2021 to 2022 tax year between 24 and 26 December 2022, and 141 opted to file between 23:00 and 23:59 on Christmas Eve, meaning they could enjoy celebrations knowing their tax return was complete.

The breakdown of figures for those who opted to file during the festive period are:

  • Christmas Eve: 8,474 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 11:00 and 11:59, when 888 returns were received.
  • Christmas Day: 3,275 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 12:00 and 12:59, when 319 returns were received.
  • Boxing Day: 10,311 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 12:00 and 12:59, when 953 returns were received.

The deadline to file and pay any tax owed for the 2021 to 2022 tax year is 31 January 2023, and HMRC is urging customers to submit their tax return on time or they may face a penalty.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

We are grateful to those customers who have already filed their tax returns. For anyone who is yet to make a start, help is available on GOV.UK, just search ‘Self Assessment’ to find out more.

Once customers complete their tax return, if they owe tax, they can find out about the different ways to pay including via the HMRC app at GOV.UK.

Those who are unable to pay their tax bill in full can access support and advice on GOV.UK. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan, known as Time to Pay. Customers should try to do this online; go to GOV.UK for more information. Alternatively, they can contact the helpline.

HMRC has a wide range of resources to help customers complete their tax return, including guidance, webinars and YouTube videos.

People need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams and must never share their login details which can be used to make fraudulent claims. Check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK.

Further information

Find out more about Self Assessment.

More than 31,000 customers submitted their tax return for the 2020 to 2021 tax year between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (24 to 26 December 2021).

  • Christmas Eve: 19,802 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was 11:00 to 11:59 when 2,914 returns were received
  • Christmas Day: 2,828 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was 12:00 to 12:59 when 227 returns were received
  • Boxing Day: 8,641 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing 12:00 to 12:59 when 821 returns were received

HMRC wants to help you get your tax right. Lots of information and support is available which includes:

If you think you are no longer required to complete an Self Assessment return, you can check if you need to send a Self Assessment tax return.

HMRC will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. Customers who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the 31 January deadline can avoid a penalty after this date. 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, up to a maximum of £900
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • 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.

Customers should include their bank account details when filing, so that if HMRC needs to make a repayment, they can do so quickly and securely.

Source: GOV.UK