One in 15 face fines after missing tax return deadline

A total of 745,588 people run the risk of being fined by HMRC after missing the deadline to submit their self-assessment tax return.

About one in 15 taxpayers failed to beat the midnight deadline on 31 January 2018 to file their annual returns relating to the 2016/17 financial year.

Late payers can expect an initial £100 fixed penalty for late filing during the first three months after the deadline.

Thereafter, additional penalties of £10 per day can be demanded – up to a maximum of £900 – followed by extra charges six and 12 months after the deadline in the worst cases.

Angela MacDonald, director-general for customer services at HMRC, said:

“If you’re one of the small number [of taxpayers] that missed the deadline, please submit your return now to avoid further penalties.

“We really don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns.”

Around 11.4 million people, predominantly made up of the self-employed and people with second incomes, were required to submit tax returns for 2016/17.

93.5% – or 10,687,761 taxpayers – submitted their returns on time, but 4.8 million of those left it late by submitting their returns less than a month before the final deadline.

HMRC received almost 1.3 million returns on 30 and 31 January 2018, accounting for 27% of the 4.8 million self-assessment tax returns submitted since the turn of the year.

Some 60,595 returns, or 17 submissions per second, were recorded between 4pm and 5pm on 31 January 2018, which saw 389,849 payments transactions processed on this day.

The Revenue received 771,331 returns ahead of the deadline for paper returns on 31 October 2017, accounting for just 7.5% of all tax returns as online submissions proved overwhelmingly popular.

MacDonald added:

“It’s really fantastic to see that each year, more and more self-assessment customers are submitting their tax return before the 31 January deadline.

“But we’re not complacent, we want the number missing the deadline to be zero.”

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