Nearly one million miss the self-assessment tax return deadline

4th February 2020

This year saw 95% of taxpayers in the UK filing their 2018-19 self-assessment tax returns ahead of 31st January, but 958,296 missed the deadline, earning instant £100 late filing penalties.

Of the 11.7 million tax returns due for the 2018-19 financial year, 11,122,967 were filed on time. A record 3,003 were filed on Christmas Day, and 702,171 returns were submitted on 31st January itself, with the peak hour being 4-5pm, when 56,969 returns were received by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Thousands of taxpayers left it until the 11th hour with 26,562 filing their tax returns between 11pm and 11:59pm on Friday, 31st January.

The deadline for filing paper tax returns was 31st October, but 10,450,542 taxpayers chose to complete their forms electronically, representing 93.95% of all tax returns filed, by the January cut-off date.

Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who filed and paid on time, but anyone yet to file or pay should contact HMRC straight away.

“The department will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses penalties on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. The excuse must be genuine and HMRC may ask for evidence.”

Missed the 2018-19 self-assessment deadline?

If you have missed the deadline to submit a 2018-19 self-assessment tax return, it’s important to contact TaxAssist Accountants as soon as possible.

We will be able to ascertain whether you have a legitimate reason for failing to meet your self-assessment obligations on time. You can read about some of the most outlandish excuses from the past decade made by people who missed the self-assessment deadline here.

If you don’t have a reasonable excuse for failing to meet your self-assessment obligations for 2018-19, we can work with you to prepare your tax return as soon as possible to avoid accumulating further late filing penalties.

It may be that you are not required to file a tax return. In which case we can sit down with you to cancel your filing requirements.

And if you believe you have made a mistake on your self-assessment tax return, you can amend it, but changes must be made by 31st January 2021.

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