HMRC sees 2,700 tax returns filed on Christmas Day

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 min read
Christmas eve was also a busy period for people filing returns. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA via Getty
Christmas eve was also a busy period for people filing returns. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA via Getty

Amid a year where many people’s festive plans were disrupted by new COVID-19 restrictions, new data has shown that 2,700 people used Christmas day to file their tax return.

Many chose to send the documents in just after lunch time, with filings reaching a peak between 2pm to 2.59pm. More than 200 customers pressed ‘submit’ on their online form in that hour, according to new government data.

This is 300 fewer than on Christmas Day last year, when 3,000 tax returns were filed, with 245 people filing between 12pm to 12.59pm.

Christmas eve was also a busy period for people filing returns, when 20,200 tax returns left people’s inboxes. The peak time for filing these was between 11am and 11.59am when 2,892 returns were received.

This is fewer than last year, when 22,000 tax returns were filed, with 3,612 submitting during the same time period.

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The self assessment deadline is on 31 January 2021. Taxpayers 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.

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.”

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In total, 31,400 customers completed their 2019 to 2020 tax returns between 24 and 26 December, according to the government.

More than 11.5 million people filed a self-assessment tax return for the last tax year. According to 2019 data from HMRC, more than 93% of self assessment tax returns were completed by the deadline in 2017/2018. The majority filed on time, but 700,000 customers missed the cut-off point.

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