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More than 14,000 file Christmas tax returns

Three day festive break sees self-assessment surge


The final deadline for submitting your online tax return is 31 January

More than 14,000 people spent the festive season avoiding the turkey and leftovers and instead filing their tax return, new data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

Some 1,944 filed their tax return online on Christmas Day – 100 fewer than in 2015 – while a further 6,214 submitted on Christmas and 6,200 filed their return on Boxing Day.

The break over Christmas and New Year – just one month before the 31st January self-assessment tax return deadline – is often a popular time to submit, with more than 20,000 doing so on New Years’ Day earlier this year.

Use the Which? online tax calculator : our easy-to-use and jargon-free tax calculator offers personalised tax tips, and you can submit the form directly to HMRC.

Get prepared for the self-assessment deadline

Anyone who is self-employed, or is a director of a company, a minister of a religion or earns more than £100,000 in income annually must complete a self-assessment tax return. People who earn more than £10,000 of savings and investment income, trustees of an estate or parents claiming child benefit where one parent earns more than £50,000 per year must also file a return.

The deadline for online submissions is the 31st January. Miss this, and you’re automatically fined £100. The penalties keep rising with further delays – as much as £1,000 plus interest on the tax you must pay for the first three months, and more for longer periods.


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To register and submit your tax return online, you need to do the following:

  • Visit the HMRC website, found at gov.uk
  • Click on the ‘Self-Assessment’ option under the ‘Do it online’ heading. 
  • If you’re a new user, click on the ‘Register’ button, then select ‘Individual’, followed by ‘Self-Assessment (SA)’.
  • You’ll set up an ID and password, and then receive an activation code by post, which allows you to file online. 
  • The code can take up to seven days to arrive, so register well in advance of the 31 January deadline.
  • Once you have a code, activate your online HRMC account within 28 days receiving it or it expires.

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