HM Revenue & Customs reports record submission for on-time tax returns

HM Revenue & Customs has revealed that a record total of 9.45 million Self Assessment tax returns were filed on time this year, of which a record 80% (7.65million) were filed online.  This means that 90.4% of taxpayers met the deadline and is the highest on-time filing result since HMRC was />  

 HMRC’s busiest day for receiving submissions was deadline day of 31st January when 445,000 returns were submitted.  ‘Rush hour’ was between 4-5pm when 37,460 returns were being received – more than one every six seconds.

Taxpayers were also given additional time to submit their returns due to industrial action at HMRC contact centres.  To allow for the potential disruption this may have caused, HMRC decided that no penalties would be issued for online returns received by midnight on 2nd February.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “I’m delighted so many people filed their tax returns online this year.  The record number proves that it’s quick, easy and secure to do.  HMRC have always been clear that they want returns not penalties, so it’s good news that over 90% of all returns were submitted on time.  I am also pleased that the extension to the filing deadline prevented people from being unfairly penalised if they were unable to speak to HMRC on the 31st .”

Although record number of submissions were received by this year’s deadline, over a million returns remained outstanding leaving taxpayers potentially liable to the new penalties for late returns.  The revised penalties are:

  • An initial £100 fixed penalty which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due was 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
  • In serious cases, the penalty after 12 months can be up to 100% of the tax due.

Further information on Self Assessment can be found on the HMRC website or by phoning the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.

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