Friday’s personal tax deadline set new records in almost all areas, HMRC has announced this morning. As midnight came and went, the number of Self Assessments filed on time broke 10 million for the first time – a total of 10.03 million returns were submitted, with 8.48 million of those being filed online (smashing last year’s record of 7.93 million).
As has been the trend in previous years, deadline day proved by far the busiest day for online filers, with 569,847 returns received by HMRC Online Services. “Rush hour”, between 4pm and 5pm, saw Self Assessments arriving at a rate of up to 12 per second – and 21,027 taxpayers squeaked in their returns between 11pm and midnight.
The number of late filers was also down on last year. A total of 710,000 Self Assessments weren’t filed on time (netting HMRC around £71 million in penalties), down from 730,000 in 2013. Those delaying further have more penalties waiting for them 3, 6 and 12 months down the road.
HMRC handed an eleventh-hour reprieve on Friday to those having problems with HMRC Online Services, extending the deadline for a select group until 15th February.
All-in-all the 2014 personal tax season appeared to be a year of positive trends for HMRC – fewer late returns, fewer individuals filing on deadline day (around 8,000 more returns were received on deadline day 2013 according to official figures), more online filings than ever, and no widespread problems with the HMRC website.