Christmas is a popular time for tax returns

Wednesday 31 December 2014

For many people paying their self assessment tax return, it seems that Christmas is a very popular time to do so.

Christmas data logs at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows that 1,773 tax returns were received on Christmas Day. This is a 13 per cent increase from 2013 when 1,566 people sent in theirs on the day.

It was found that the busiest time for tax returns to be sent in online on December 25th was between midday and 1pm. A total of 148 tax returns were sent in electronically then.

Christmas Eve and Boxing Day saw even larger numbers of tax returns coming in. HMRC says that typically December 24th is a busier day for filling in tax returns that Christmas Day. True to form, there were 17,644 tax returns submitted online on Christmas Eve. That's four per cent up from the 17,000 that were received on the same day last year.

On Boxing Day, there were also more tax returns submitted than on Christmas Day, though not as many as on Christmas Eve. HMRC said that it received 4,811 online returns on Boxing Day, which is seven per cent up on the 4,493 that were received on December 26th last year.

Overall, HMRC said there was a five per cent increase on the number of online returns sent to the taxman over the Christmas period. There were 23,059 sent in during 2013 and this figure rose to 24,228 this year.

Director general of personal tax at HMRC Ruth Owen said: "You can file your online return at any time of day or night – even Christmas Day, if it suits you. But don’t leave it too late. Give yourself plenty of time to resolve any problems and if you need to call us, do it now, as our phone lines get much busier as the 31 January deadline approaches."

HMRC has issued a reminder to limited company contractors and sole traders that time is running out to complete their self assessment tax return online.

People who choose to file their self assessment online have until midnight on January 31st to do so and must also have made final payment of any tax due by this date.

However, to complete self assessment online, contractors will first have had to have registered online. The deadline for this was October 5th.

HMRC reminded those that have registered online that they must then make sure they have an activation code to activate their account. For those that have lost this code, HMRC said that they must request a new one online.

The taxman also reminded people paying their self assessment online of the other important things they need to have to hand to complete their tax return - their user ID and password.

HMRC added: "Once you have these you will have taken a first step towards inner peace."

By Victoria McDonnell

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