HMRC has revealed that nearly one million people missed the deadline for submitting their self-assessment tax return on 31 January 2020.

This was however an improvement from last year when more than a million people missed the cut-off.

Of the 11.1 million people who did complete their tax return on time, a record 10.4 million did so electronically.

Despite HMRC’s constant reminders to submit returns early, the figures show that a large proportion of us still leave it to the last minute. More than 700,000 people submitted their tax return on deadline day with 26,562 of those doing so in the very last hour.


What if I haven’t submitted my tax return yet?

Those who fail to submit their tax return on time could be issued with an immediate penalty of £100. After three months, an additional £10 per day can be demanded, up to a maximum of £900. Further charges can be added six and 12 months after the deadline.

If you do need to file a tax return for the 2018/19 tax year, this is something which needs to be done as soon as possible. You can only do this online however as the deadline for filing a paper return was 31 October 2019 and will therefore no longer be accepted.

You will also need to pay any tax you owe for 2018/19 immediately, plus a payment towards what you will owe for the 2019/20 tax year. Failing to pay your tax return on time leads to hefty financial penalties which will only increase your debt to HMRC.

Angela MacDonald, director general for customer services at HMRC has urged anyone who still hasn’t submitted their tax return to get in touch with them as soon as possible. She commented:

“The department will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses penalties on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. The excuse must be genuine and HMRC may ask for evidence.”


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