Are we a nation of tax procrastinators?

Tax return deadline

New data revealed today has revealed that only a third of tax returns are filed by mid-October, even though individuals have already had eight and a half months to complete their self-assessment documentation.

The statistics, which were released to untied by HMRC under the Freedom of Information Act, show that in a typical year, only a third of returns are filed by 20 October.  Almost half of all returns are filed in the month of January alone, in the last weeks before the deadline of midnight on 31 January.

The data that untied received also showed that over 135,000 returns are filed during Christmas week, including just over 3,000 on Christmas Day, plus a further 17,000 on New Year’s Day (and over 700,000 on 31 January).

Kevin Sefton, CEO of untied, the personal tax app, commented: “With two thirds of people still to file their returns, sole traders, property landlords and high earners will want to avoid the stress and potential penalties of leaving their tax returns to the last minute.

“HMRC has reported that it gets nearly 1,000 returns a day 14 months after the end of each annual deadline, and sometimes 500 a day 26 months after.  The longer the delay in submitting the forms, the bigger the size of the penalties.

“There are three and a half months to go until the filing deadline and our advice is to start getting your taxes in order now.  Taxes often feel overwhelming but the sooner you start, the better.  Trying to get them in by the beginning of December gives you a little wiggle room if other things crop up.”

untied believes that people should be focused on their lives and businesses, not worrying about their receipts or their taxes and paperwork.  That’s where the untied app comes in – it enables self-employed and multi-income taxpayers to use open banking and other data, to capture, manage and submit personal tax returns.