Record-breaking year for tax returns

More than 10 million tax returns were received by the 31 January filing deadline, beating last year’s total of 9.61 million, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed today.The record for the number of online returns, set last year when 7.93 million people filed over the internet, was also broken, as 8.48million were sent online to HMRC. This represents 84.5 per cent of all returns received – a record-breaking percentage.figures-gwmkou84yietgwhwgsd3

With around 10.74 million 2012-13 tax returns due by 31 January, this means 93.4 per cent met the deadlines – 31 October for paper and 31 January for online. This is the highest percentage of on-time returns ever recorded.

The busiest day for online returns was 31 January, when HMRC received 569,847. The busiest hour occurred between 4pm and 5pm on the same day, when 45,706 returns – more than 12 per second – were received.­­ And 21,027 people left it until the eleventh hour, and filed their online return between 11pm and midnight on deadline day.

Missing the tax return deadline results in a £100 late-filing penalty. There are further late-filing penalties after three, six and 12 months.

People who need to complete a tax return include the self-employed, those with more than one income, and high-income parents who received Child Benefit after 7 January 2013.

To register for Self Assessment for the current or previous tax years, call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm on Saturday).

Notes:

1.  HMRC received 10.03 million on-time 2012-13 tax returns.

2.  The penalties for late Self Assessment 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 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
  • after 12 months, another 5 per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5 per cent of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; 6 months; and 12 months.