2,700 tax returns filed on Christmas Day

HMRC’s new data has shown that 2,700 people used Christmas day to file their tax returns.

Many taxpayers chose to send the documents in just after lunchtime on 25 December. The peak time for completing tax returns was between 2 pm to 2.59 pm. More than 200 customers pressed ‘submit’ on their online form in that hour, according to new government data.

The number of taxpayers shunning turkey this year was fewer than on the 3,000 who filed on Christmas Day 2019. However, 245 out of 3000 filed between 12 pm to 12.59 pm.

This is fewer than last year when 22,000 taxpayers filed returns, with 3,612 submitting during the same time period.

Most chose to get filing out of the way along with the last-minute wrapping on Christmas Eve when 20,200 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was 11:00 to 11:59 when HMRC received 2,892 returns.

A further 8.500 taxpayers used Boxing Day to catch up on paperwork.

The self assessment deadline is on 31 January, and HMRC is expecting around 11m taxpayers to file.

Once taxpayers know the tax they owe, they can set up a payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000. They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits online. The government will apply interest to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s interim director general for customer services, said: ‘Online self assessment means customers can do their tax returns at any time, day or night – even on Christmas Day if they want to.

‘We’re here to help customers get their tax right, and there’s support available 24/7 like help sheets, webinars and YouTube videos. Search ‘Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.’

In total, 31,400 customers completed their 2019 to 2020 tax returns between 24 and 26 December, according to the government.

More than 11.5 million people filed a self assessment tax return for the last tax year. According to 2019 data from HMRC, more than 93% of self assessment tax returns were completed by the deadline in 2017/2018. The majority filed on time, but 700,000 customers missed the cut-off point.

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