2,700 tax returns sent in on Christmas Day

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The Self Assessment deadline is on 31 January 2021. Customers can complete their tax returns online ahead of the deadline at a time that suits them. Every year, HMRC sees thousands of customers using the festive period to get their documents in order and complete the task.

On Christmas Day, the peak time for completing tax returns was 14:00 to 14:59, with more than 200 customers pressing send on their online form.

Once Self Assessment customers have completed their 2019 to 2020 tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000. They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits online. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

To find out if they are eligible, customers can visit GOV.UK to find out more about the service.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s Interim Director General for Customer Services, said:

Online Self Assessment means customers can do their tax returns at any time, day or night – even on Christmas Day if they want to.

We’re here to help customers get their tax right, and there’s support available 24/7 like help sheets, webinars and YouTube videos. Search ‘Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.

In total, 31,400 customers completed their 2019 to 2020 tax returns between 24 and 26 December:

  • Christmas Eve: 20,200 tax returns were filed – the peak time for filing was 11:00 to 11:59 when 2,892 returns were received
  • Christmas Day: 2,700 tax returns were filed – the peak time for filing was 14:00 to 14:59 when 214 returns were received
  • Boxing Day: 8,500 tax returns were filed – the peak time for filing was 15:00 to 15:59 when 858 returns were received

Copycat websites and phishing scams

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. Customers should always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for their Self Assessment tax return online securely and free of charge. They also need to be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that they can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax. It might be a scam.

Check GOV.UK for information on how to:

Further information

The comparative data for the 2018 to 2019 tax year is:

  • Christmas Eve: 22,000 tax returns filed, with 3,612 filing between 11:00 to 11:59
  • Christmas Day: 3,000 tax returns filed, with 245 filing between 12:00 to 12:59
  • Boxing Day: 9,200 tax returns filed, with 946 filing between 12:00 to 12:59

Full guidance on Self Assessment is available at: www.gov.uk/selfassessment

Help and support is available to customers completing their Self Assessment tax return. A list of available resources can be found:

If a customer’s Self Assessment debts are over £30,000, or they need longer than 12 months to pay their debt in full, they may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

To protect against identity fraud customers must verify their identity when accessing HMRC’s online services. They must have 2 sources of information including:

  • credit reference agency data
  • tax credits
  • P60/payslip
  • UK Passport

Follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s 6 essential steps to keep yourself and your business secure online by visiting CyberAware.gov.uk.

Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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