Christmas break used by many individuals and businesses to file taxes online
Time’s ticking away: before you know it, the 31 January deadline will be upon us. Image by Aaban (via Shutterstock).
For our industry, January is the busiest time of the year. Since the Inland Revenue (now HM Revenue and Customs) introduced Self Assessment tax returns in 1997, the rush to file your tax returns by the end of January became an annual event. Thanks to the convenience of online tax returns, many individuals and businesses chose to file their tax returns over the Christmas period. So, twas the season the file taxes, then?
More than 14,000 taxpayers submitted their Self Assessment form over the Yuletide period. Between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day to be exact (we suppose filing their taxes was a better option than the Christmas special of Mrs Brown’s Boys). From HMRC figures, 1,944 filed their tax returns on Christmas Day. The figures for Christmas Eve and Boxing Day were 6,214 and 6,200 respectively. The Feast Day of St. Stephen is a popular date; a rise of 800 people per annum choose to file their returns on the 26 December.
It is estimated that 10 million people are in the HMRC’s Self Assessment system. Roughly the same amount of people who saw the two-part Christmas special of Mrs Brown’s Boys. This is due to the rise of what is known as the “Gig Economy”, where dealing with taxes means the Self Assessment model. In other words, a shift towards self employed work. For example, fast food and parcel couriers; casual work and handling more than one income stream.
If you have yet to file your tax return, the deadline for the 2015 – 16 Financial Year is the 31 January 2017. Please note the date applies to online tax returns; the deadline for paper forms was the 31 October 2016. Missing the 31 January deadline without good cause means a minimum £100 penalty.