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Record number of taxpayers met self-assessment deadline

Record number of taxpayers met self-assessment deadline

A record number of people met HMRC’s self-assessment deadline this year.

Official figures from the Revenue showed that 90.4% of taxpayers – 9.45 million people, filed before the deadline this year. Of that figure, 7.65 million used HMRC’s online filing facility.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said he was delighted to see an increase in the number of people filing online and remarked that this proves the system is quick, easy and secure. He went on to explain that HMRC is interested in returns rather than penalties and the 2 day extension will have prevented taxpayers from receiving an unfair penalty if they were unable to contact the Revenue on the 31st of January.

The Revenue took the unusual step of extending the deadline this year due to industrial action by the PCS that threatened to disrupt HMRC call centres.

HMRC said the self-assessment department witnessed a “rush hour” between 4 and 5 pm on the 31st when it received a total of 37,460 returns. More than 200,000 people did take advantage of the extended deadline. 87,000 returns were received on February 1st and 120,000 on the 2nd.

Despite the record number of returns received before the filing deadline, about a million people will still face an automatic £100 penalty for non-compliance. Taxpayers receiving one of these penalty notices will need to prove they had a “reasonable excuse” for the delay if they want the fine to be quashed.

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Image: 53/365 – Spare Body Parts by Helga Weber

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