Self-assessment tax returns hit record of 11.1m, says HMRC

HMRC also said the number filing online by the January 31 deadline soared to more than 10.4m for the first time ever

Tax, HMRC, self-assessment
A record 11.1m people filed their tax return by January 31, 2020


A record-breaking 11.1m people submitted their self-assessment tax returns by the January 31 deadline, HMRC has said.

And the number filing online soared to more than 10.4m for the first time ever. Around 11.7m people were required to file their 2018/19 tax returns by 11.59pm on January 31. More than 700,000 submitted their returns on deadline day, the peak hour for filing was between 4pm to 4:59pm when 56,969 filed.

Thousands of customers filed their tax returns at the last minute with 26,562 completing their returns from 11pm to 11:59pm on Friday 31 January. Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “While few people enjoy the process it’s good to get it out the way and know you have contributed towards our vital public services.

“I’d like to thank everyone who filed and paid on time, but anyone yet to file or pay should contact HMRC straight away because we are here to help.”

Customers who have missed the deadline should contact HMRC. The department says it 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.

Self Assessment 2020 facts summary:

  • 11.7 million SA returns due
  • 11,122,967 returns received by 31st January. This includes expected returns, unsolicited returns and late registrations
  • 10,760,043 expected returns received by 31st January (91.82% of returns expected)
  • 362,924 unsolicited returns/late registrations (3.26%)
  • 958,296 taxpayers missed the deadline (8.18%)
  • 702,171 taxpayers filed their returns on 31 January, peak filing hour was 4pm to 4:59pm (56,969 returns received)
  • 10,450,542 returns were filed online (93.95% of total filed)

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