Record 10.7m taxpayers file tax returns before deadline

The number of taxpayers who submitted their tax returns before the 31 January deadline hit 10.7 million, surpassing previous years records, with over 758,000 people cutting it fine and leaving it to the last minute to file

According to HMRC, there were 758,707 people who completed their self assessment return on the last day before the deadline and the most popular hour for taxpayers to submit was from 4pm to 5pm on 31 January with 60,596 returns received (1,010 per minute, 17 per second).

Despite the constant reminders from HMRC, 30,348 individuals left it to the last minute and filed between 11pm and 11:59pm on 31 January.

HMRC handled 195,260 calls over the course of the day with waiting times averaging three minutes and six seconds.

HMRC’s online service was used by 9.9m taxpayers resulting in 92.5% of total returns being filed online.

Angela MacDonald, director general for customer services, said: ‘It’s really fantastic to see that each year, more and more self assessment customers are getting ahead of the game and submitting their tax return before the 31 January deadline. But we’re not complacent, we want the number missing the deadline to be zero, and we’ll continue to adapt the process to make it easier and simpler for all our customers until every return is in on time and without avoidable errors.

‘If you’re one of the small number that missed the deadline, please submit your return now to avoid further penalties. We really don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns.’

Report by Amy Austin

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