The end of 2015 saw a record number of people submit their self assessment tax returns online. HMRC reports that almost 25,000 people returned their forms on New Year’s Eve, a 2.8% increase on the same day in 2014. Perhaps more surprising is the statistic that 2,044 people returned their forms on Christmas Day. This too was a rise on 2014 figures with 13% growth. Boxing Day also saw 5,402 submissions. These numbers show that many people chose to use the festive period to get their finances in order before the start of 2016. It is also a good indication of the increased accessibility the online submission service offers.
There is a major reason why so many people rushed to submit their tax forms before the end of the year. Those who successfully submitted their information in 2015 could ask to spread any money they owe over the course of the 2016/2017 tax year, thereby alleviating the pressure of having to pay the whole bill at once.
The deadline for self assessment submissions and paying any outstanding tax is January 31st. All information needs to be submitted online by this date or you could face a fine. Lateness incurs an automatic £100 penalty which rises depending on how late you are. In 2015 around 890,000 people incurred penalties for late submission.
The online service to submit self assessments has improved dramatically over recent years as HMRC encourages more people to use it rather than traditional paper forms. It is available all year round and users can find tips and advice to help with using it. The accessibility and flexibility of the system is a major reason why so many people managed to send their information on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.
The January 31st deadline will arrive very quickly, so it is important that you do all you can to complete your submissions as early as possible. If you need any extra advice or support with your self assessment in Brent or the rest of London, we are the accountants you can rely on for expert help.