More than 6,000 people spent their Christmas Eve avoiding wrapping and prepping the turkey and instead filing their self-assessment tax return, according to figures published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Some 6,033 people submitted their tax return on Christmas Eve, 2,590 submitted their return on Christmas Day and an incredible 7,655 filed their return on Boxing Day.
That beats last year’s figures, when 14,000 people submitted their tax returns over the festive period.
If you want to use the Christmas period to file your return, Which? is here to help. The Which? tax calculator allows you to calculate your tax bill, offers hints and tips on where to save, and then you can submit direct to HMRC.
Who needs to submit a tax return for 2016-17?
Some people are obliged to fill out a tax return every year, such as those who run their own business, employees or pensioners with income above £100,000 or those with pre-tax investment income of at least £10,000.
But HMRC may contact you and ask you to complete a tax return if you have untaxed income from other investments or land, or you make a capital gain above the annual allowance.
Our short video explains who needs to complete a tax return.
What are the important 2016-17 tax return deadlines?
Depending on how you choose to submit your tax return, the deadline for submitting it will be different.
Paper tax returns need to be filed by 31 October. So for tax returns relating to the year April 2016 to April 2017, for example, all paper returns should be submitted by 31 October 2017.
The deadline for filing online is three months later – 31 January. So tax returns for the year April 2016 to April 2017 can be filed online up to 31 January 2018.
What happens if I miss the tax return deadline?
If you’re late with your tax return, you face an immediate £100 fine. If you submit any later, you could be hit with increasing levels of penalties, as our chart below shows.
However, HMRC is considering reform this by introducing a driving license-style points system for late returns. Find out more in our December 2017 story.