UK: Many happy returns for the taxman on Christmas Day

More than 1,500 took time on Christmas Day to submit an online tax return, according to HM Revenue & Customs. More than 1,500 took time on Christmas Day to submit an online tax return, according to HM Revenue & Customs.

Saturday, December 28, 2013
8:00 AM

More than 1,500 people found time on Christmas Day to send an online tax return, according to HM Revenue & Customs.

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The total of 1,566 online returns submitted on December 25 was 1% up on the 1,548 returns received by HMRC on Christmas Day last year, with the busiest period being the hour from midday to 1pm during which 144 people hit the “Send” button on their completed returns.

HMRC said the number of online returns filed over the three days from December 24 to December 26 was up 12% on last year, at 23,059 against 20,563.

The Christmas Eve total was 19% up at exactly 17,000, compared with 14,330 last year, while the Boxing Day figure of 4,493 represented a 4% fall on the 2012 total of 4,685.

Although the deadline for sending tax returns to HMRC for the 2012-13 tax year, and for paying any tax owed, is January 31, 2014, taxpayers owing less than £3,000 who wish to take advantage of the facility for HMRC to collect the sum through next year’s tax code need to submit an online return by midnight on Monday, December 30.

In all, around 10.9million people are expected to fill out a Self Assessment return for the 2012-13 tax year.

Late returns incur 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 three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day apply, up to a maximum of £900; after six months a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater, applies; and after 12 months, another 5% or £300, whichever is greater, is charged.

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of any tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.

For general help and advice on completing a return, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays).

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