It has been revealed that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received 1,773 online self-assessment tax returns on Christmas Day this year, a 13% rise on last year’s total of 1,566.
The busiest time for which online submissions were made has also been announced, which was between midday and 1pm, with 148 people finding the time to submit before tucking into their Christmas Dinner! If you think this total is high, Christmas Eve was even more popular, with a whopping 17,644 online returns successfully submitted – a 4% increase on the 17,000 received on 24th December last year.
Boxing Day saw another 4,811 online returns submitted, which meant that on the whole, over the complete three-day festive period, 24,228 tax returns were submitted in total. This is a 5% increase on the 2013 total of 23,059, and goes to show that people are using any spare moments they can find to submit their returns on time.
However, not everyone is quite as punctual as our Christmas Day submitters. Around 11.2million people are expected to fill out Tax Returns this year, and to coincide with a recent reminder they sent out, HMRC have also released a list of the top 10 most bizarre excuses as to why people have not filed returns.
The list ranges from the bizarre “Barack Obama is in charge of my finances” to the downright extreme “I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency” and should prove to be a timely reminder to anyone who has not submitted a return yet, that only genuine valid reasons will be accepted. The list in full is as follows:
1. My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
2. I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
3. I fell in with the wrong crowd.
4. I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
5. Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
6. I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
7. A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
8. I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
9. My girlfriend’s pregnant.
10. I was in Australia.
For those of you who may need a reminder, the deadline for submitting 2013/14 self-assessment tax returns to HMRC is 31st January 2015. All tax returns outstanding for 2013/14 must now be submitted online as the paper-filing deadline of 31st October 2014 has now passed.
To send an online tax return, you must be registered for HMRC Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you an Activation Code in the post and you will need to allow 10 days for it to arrive.
The penalties for late tax 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.
If you do not want to be one of the few people filing their return over the Christmas period next year, why not leave it to us? Not only do we do the hard work for you, but you will have the peace of mind that your return will be filed correctly and on time. To find out more about Sibbalds taking on your Tax Return please email email@example.com or, alternatively give us a call on 01332 242257.