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Self-assessment statistics

Self-assessment statistics

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I have just done my analysis of the 2016/17 self-assessment returns that my firm filed according to month filed.

Apr 1%

May 6%

Jun 9%

Jul 5%

Aug 7%

Sep 6%

Oct 5%

Nov 7%

Dec 9%

Jan 45%   

The January rush is of course down to client procrastination, not ours!  Astonishingly 15% got filed in the last 3 days of January. 

There seems to be a year-on-year deterioration. In 2011/12 for example 35% got filed in January.

Has any one else experienced this trend?


Replies (15)

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01st Feb 2018 13:17

mirror image!

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By accountantccole
01st Feb 2018 13:41

47% in January - I must push harder!!!

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By Slim
01st Feb 2018 13:43

very similar here too

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01st Feb 2018 13:44

Have just done a quick calc. We are not much different this year. Our January was 19%. April- June was 26%. July-Sept 31%, Oct-Dec 24%. Its those last ones. They are the same virtually every year and this is despite 4 in year reminders. And its the tail end charlies who complain and moan on the last day as they don't like the tax bill. By that time there is no time to discuss. It is also made more fraught by those who we have done throughout the year and have taken no notice of the computation & tax due because they never read it at the time and then argue. As well as those who never even looked and can't find the assessment
And the one that comes in laughing yesterday afternoon. Could have smacked him on the nose. I say my husband is too soft with them.

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By lesley.barnes
01st Feb 2018 14:22

I've had a significant deterioration this year of people bringing tax returns in on the last minute. Like Jon we've reminded during the year and the tail enders were reminded an additional 4 times in the last two months. As NYB says by the 31st Jan there is no time to discuss the returns in depth with clients. Yesterday morning I still had 11 returns to file all but one was done and out with the client but these clients hadn't given authority to file. The last one went last night at 9.50. I've given thought to this over the last few days as to why more clients are leaving it to the last week in Jan and I don't think the £100 fine is enough to deter people anymore. I'm going to go through my client list and disengage some clients who I don't think will ever change and put something in my letter of engagement to build in extra costs on a sliding scale for returns brought in Dec and Jan. Perhaps if it hits them in their pocket they might be a little more prompt.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
By Paul D Utherone
01st Feb 2018 14:32

Perhaps you need to be tougher with them. If you're sending regular reminders and the clients just can't be bothered then why wait up until the very last second on the chance that they might deal with matters? Let them get a penalty and email them on 1 Feb to say:

Despite numerous reminders you have not approved your return for submission to HMRC. I was therefore not able to submit your return by the due date for electronic filing and you will have incurred a £100 penalty. Please now give this matter your urgent attention to prevent further penalties arising.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
01st Feb 2018 14:39

The HMRC press release released today confirms that "4,852,744 returns were received online in January 2018 (44.8% of total received)"and 47% of all were submitted in Jan. Nearly 1/2. This number is sure to reduce with automatic population.

On behalf of clients I and all other Accweb members would have submitted some of the
" 758,707 .... returns on the last day".

I threatened my lot with financial penalties but not many took notice - the usual ones left it to the last minute and assumed I would get the returns in in time. Which I did but I have worked a 7 day week for most of Jan and yesterday I was up until 10pm submitting. Although I must say that this year wasnt as bad a prior years.

Notice the comment in the Press Release about online submission (bearing in mind MTD):
"Proving increasingly popular with its handy tips and helpful advice" - now where have we heard/read those words before?

Here's the link FYI:

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By claudialowe
01st Feb 2018 14:52

23% in January up from 17% last year and 21% the year before. Broadly speaking 25% each quarter and then the final 25% in January, and this hasn't changed greatly over the years.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
01st Feb 2018 15:31

These are filed dates , followed by % billing for personal tax as a % of the total for a year which I think is a better indication of workload in the month as its not a lagging indicator, and adjusts for larger/small returns.

April 5% [10%]
May 9% [8%]
June 11% [13%]
July 8% [8%]
August 8% [8%]
September 8% [5%]
October 11% [9%]
November 10% [12%]
December 11% [15%]
January 20% [12%]

More than I thought in January, but many of these were small returns, and many prepared before Xmas holidays, and we held back a good dozen to see the business performance for POA's etc.

Pretty happy with that

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By Cloudcounter
01st Feb 2018 15:37

Fairly similar, with 41% in January (I measure when the return was sent to the client, not when finally filed). Worst in the last ten years was 48% in January for the 2013 returns, followed by the best 23% in Janury in 2014.

That, to me, shows that if you take active steps you can reduce the January burden. This years is down to me taking my eye off things last summer. New Years resolution (and we all know about those) to do it better next year.

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By SteveRA
01st Feb 2018 15:56

I love all these stats, off to work my own out. No wonder we are all accountants. I decided not to chase my habitual latecomers in November or December as it never makes any difference. I then received a phone call in early January from one client as she was worried that I might be unwell, having not heard from me!

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By ohgoodgodno
01st Feb 2018 16:07

anything can look good or bad with percentages, its a good marker, but you need to look beyond this

we filed 40% in January - sounds a lot but these were the easier jobs, stand alone returns for higher earners and people with property income, all in all straightforward to turnaround and no real problems....had it been a different 40% of our clients, the messier jobs, or those that leave half the records at home we would have been stuffed

like others we have tried anything and everything to get clients in earlier from discounts to being early or extra charges for being late, only a couple have ever responded in kind

I'd agree with the comments that a £100 fine isn't enough

with HMRC admitting that 45% of returns are filed in January it confirms what most of us think about MTD and how unworkable it will be - are virtually half of all taxpayers going to change their ways overnight, I don't think so!

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By SpreadsheetUser
02nd Feb 2018 07:01

Is the proposal about no initial fine but "strikes" still being considered? That to me is the wrong direction altogether.
The current penalty is too low now compared to a heavy, in proportion, RTI penalty

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By meadowsaw227
02nd Feb 2018 10:29

Do not bother keeping track but looking at what I filed in January it amounted to 1.5%, and they were filed on the 29th, but were ready before and I would not file until signed.

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By SteveHa
02nd Feb 2018 12:36

I filed about 40% in Jan, with 30% of the total being prepared in Jan.

Two failed to provide info, and two were prepared but accept penalties whilst discussions were ongoing.

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