Every year, I genuinely look forward to HMRC’s list of worst excuses for late tax returns.

Who can forget “I have vertigo and my ex-wife left the tax return upstairs so I can’t get it”. Or “My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me”.

With 12 million tax returns due to be filed and nearly half outstanding at 1 January, there is always a last minute rush.

However, this year HMRC are taking a more lenient view on tax returns – they are not moving the deadline but won’t fine anyone who is delayed for any COVID-related reasons.

They are also allowing anyone with a bill less than £30,000 to set up a payment plan online.

So, with no need for funny excuses, they have instead issued their 7 fun and fascinating facts on personal tax returns. So, here we go:

  1. 96,519 people filed their tax return on 6 April 2020 (first day of the tax year)
  2. It’s the 20th anniversary of Self Assessment internet filing. The service began on 3 July 2000 – with 38,000 individuals successfully sending their digital tax return by 31 January 2001
  3. In January 2011, 3.4 million taxpayers completed a Self Assessment tax return online – this has increased to an estimated 5 million in January 2021
  4. This year’s deadline (31 January 2021) is on a Sunday. The last time the deadline was on a Sunday was in 2016
  5. Last year, the busiest filing day was 31 January with 702,171 returns completed
  6. The peak hour for filing last year was between 16:00 to 16:59 on 31 January when 56,969 customers filed
  7. HMRC has increased the self-serve Time to Pay threshold to £30,000 to help Self Assessment customers spread the cost of their tax bill

HMRC have also released some filing figures from December and 2,700 people filed on Christmas Day itself. They must have been in Tier 4!

Of course, the most important fact to get right is the tax bill itself. If you need any help, just let us know.

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