745,000 tax returns still outstanding
However, plenty left it to the last minute, with 758,707 completing their return on the last day before the deadline. Between 4-5pm on 31 January, 60,596 returns were received. 30,348 people completed their returns from 11pm to 11:59pm at night.
The vast majority of returns were submitted online – 9.9 million, or 92.5% of the total returns.
However, around 745,588 self-assessment returns are still outstanding. Those who have not yet submitted their returns now face an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time.
It is better to act quickly, because those fines rise over time. After three months, those who still haven’t filed face additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900. After six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
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.”