Thousands of people celebrated New Year’s Eve by easing their tax return burden. HMRC reported 24,546 people spent the final hours of 2015 submitting their self assessment tax return online.
A further 11,467 people ticked submitting their tax return off their New Year’s resolutions the next day. This represents a 2.8% increase in submissions compared to last year. This trend was reflected across the Christmas period. 2,044 people broke away from the Christmas Day festivities to submit their tax return, which represented a 13% increase.
This Christmas promptness spilled over to Boxing Day with 5,402 people shunning the sales and completing their tax returns instead.
HMRC’s tax return stats coincide with the increased traffic AccountingWEB experienced during the closing days of 2015, peaking with more than 15,000 users visiting the site on 30 December. Accountants even pondered on Christmas morning how many tax returns would be submitted. Tom123 overstated in his Christmas Day submissions prediction, guessing 5,000.
A comparison to Scrooge came quick, but Manchester_Man described how filing over the Christmas break could be relaxing: “Came back from my favourite canary island yesterday where i completed a return sat outside the pool on my phone, in the gorgeous blazing heat. It was the most pleasurable tax return I have ever completed.” However, Manchester_Man later conceded that his Christmas Day would include filing returns.
Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax at HMRC, said: “As we all enjoy the festive season it’s easy to see how completing your tax return can be forgotten, but the 31 January deadline will be here quicker than we think.
“Our advice is don’t leave it until it’s too late. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time and remember our online service is available with helpful advice and handy tips any time of the year, whether that’s on Christmas Day, or even New Year’s Eve.”
Are you knee-deep in tax returns or have you dealt with your self assessment submissions early?
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's practice correspondent. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.