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1,773 happy returns at Christmas

Press Release   •   Dec 30, 2014 10:00 GMT

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received 1,773 online tax returns on Christmas Day – a 13 per cent increase on last year’s total of 1,566.

HMRC’s Christmas data logs reveal the busiest time for online returns on 25 December was between midday and 1pm, when 148 Yuletide returns were delivered electronically.

Christmas Eve, traditionally a much busier day for festive filing than the big day itself, saw 17,644online returns successfully submitted. This was up 4 per cent on the 17,000 received on 24 December 2013.

Another 4,811 online returns ticked all the boxes on Boxing Day – a 7 per cent increase on the 4,493 received last year.

In total, 24,228 online returns were received over the three-day festive period – up 5 per cent on the 2013 total of 23,059.

HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, 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.”

The deadline for sending 2013/14 tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2015.

All outstanding 2013/14 tax returns must now be submitted online, as the 31 October paper-filing deadline has passed. To send an online tax return, you must be registered for HMRC Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you an Activation Code in the post, and you need to allow 10 days for it to arrive.

Simple, straightforward advice on Self Assessment can be found at HMRC’s new Facebook page at http://ow.ly/FFcYk

Help and advice on filing your return – including how to register for online filing – is also available from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns or the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).

Notes for editors

1.  Around 11.2 million people are expected to fill out a tax return for the 2013/14 tax year.

2.  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 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.

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

4.  Follow the HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.