On the assumption that HMRC's statistics are correct, approximately 730,000 have missed yesterday's filing deadline for tax returns for 2012:
"A record 9.61 million people found “inner peace” and sent their tax return on time this year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed today.
With 10.34 million people in Self Assessment in 2011-12, this means that around 93 out of every 100 taxpayers (92.9 per cent) met the return deadlines – 31 October for paper and 31 January for online.Here come the fines!
Of the 9.61 million on-time tax returns, 7.93 million (82.5 per cent) were sent online – a record number. The remaining 1.68 million (17.5 per cent) were sent on paper.
Anyone who hasn’t yet sent their 2011-12 tax return to HMRC will have already incurred a £100 late-filing penalty. To avoid any further penalties, they should send their return as soon as possible, as well as pay any outstanding tax due for the 2011-12 tax year.
The busiest day for online returns was 31 January, when HMRC received 578,000. The busiest hour occurred between 4pm and 5pm on 31 January, when 46,000 returns – more than 12 per second – were received by HMRC.
In the run up to the 31 January deadline, even the Christmas holidays didn’t stop the flow of online returns to HMRC, with 1,548 people putting the festivities on hold and sending their tax return online on Christmas Day, and another 4,685 on Boxing Day. New Year’s Eve saw 27,161 people celebrate by sending their tax return over the internet, while another 12,077 were suitably recovered on New Year’s Day to do the same.
Help and advice is available from the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.
Notes for editors
1. From an original Self Assessment population of around 10.6 million for the 2011-12 tax year, more than 300,000 people contacted HMRC under a new initiative to say they didn’t need to be in Self Assessment and had their returns cancelled.
2. Images of HMRC’s new “inner peace” Self Assessment ads are available from HMRC’s Flickr channel at www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
3. The penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:
- an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time;
- after three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;
- after six months, a further penalty of five per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
- after 12 months, another five per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
There are also additional penalties for paying late of five per cent of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; six months; and 12 months."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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