Men prevail in 'Battle of the Taxes' ahead of self-assessment deadline

28th January 2016

Men are more likely to file their self-assessment tax returns on time than their female counterparts, according to new research published this week by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

With 294 of every 10,000 tax returns completed late by men, compared with 303 late tax returns filed by women, it’s the men who win the gender battle by the slender margin of just nine tax returns per 10,000.

Gender is not the only defining factor on who is more likely to miss this weekend's 31st January deadline for 2014-15 self-assessment; age plays a key role too.

Only 118 of every 10,000 tax returns filed late came from taxpayers aged 65 and over, placing them at the top of the class for punctuality. However, there is undoubted room for improvement with taxpayers aged 18 to 20-years-old who file 949 of every 10,000 tax returns beyond the 31st January deadline.

There is also a marked difference in late tax return filing between different UK industries. The most reliable self-assessment filers are the agriculture, fishing and forestry industry, with only 71 in every 10,000 tax returns submitted late.

Lawyers and accountants came second (147 returns late per 10,000), followed by the financial, insurance and real estate sectors (212 returns late per 10,000).

The worst offending industries were the administrative and support services (359 returns late per 10,000), followed by the information and communication industries (330 per 10,000) and the education sector (292 per 10,000).

There were interesting correlations when comparing regional demographics with taxpayers based in London the most likely to file tax returns beyond the 31st January deadline (402 tax returns late per 10,000). Meanwhile those living in the South West of England were the least likely to miss the deadline with 236 late returns per 10,000.

Men win 'Battle of the Taxes'

Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax, HMRC, said: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, young or old, whether you live in Newcastle or Cardiff, - if you need to complete a tax return, you need to do it now.

“Our online service has a wide range of resources to help taxpayers complete their tax return and can be accessed 24-hours a day to suit everyone’s working pattern.

“Our advice is to not leave it until the eleventh hours – act now to prevent getting caught up in a last-minute rush.”

There is only three days left for UK taxpayers to submit their online tax returns for the 2014-15 financial year and pay what they owe; avoiding a £100 late filing penalty.

Image: HM Revenue & Customs

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