HMRC says nearly 400,000 people filed online on January 30th

HMRC recently announced that 7,002,748 people had filed their self-assessment tax returns online by the 30th January, an increase of 667,792 on the same time last year. But a lot of people, including some accountants, still left things till the last minute and almost 400,000 people rushed to file on the 30th.

This year the Revenue has extended the deadline for filing until February 2nd because the Public and Commercial Services Union organised industrial action timed to coincide with the traditional busiest filing day of the year; January 31st.

In 2011, around 600,000 people waited until the last day to file and HMRC expected about 90,000 taxpayers would try and phone one of its call centres for advice on tax related matters on January 31st this year. However, due to strike action the call centres were largely manned by volunteers and a huge backlog of calls built up.

Taxpayers who submit their return on the first or second of February will still escape a penalty, the taxman recently confirmed.

HMRC also explained some of the common errors made during the filing process. A number of taxpayers believe the page showing the calculation of tax due is in fact a confirmation that their income tax return has been submitted. This is of course not true. Furthermore, an error message will appear if the “return” key is pressed when information is entered about pension providers.

Today really is the last day to submit your return if you want to escape an automatic £100 late filing penalty. HMRC call centres should be back to normal so if you still have problems, pick up the phone now, or get in touch with a contractor accountant and ask for help!

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