HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has once again surpassed its record of completed tax returns with a huge 10.7 million customers submitting theirs before the 31 January deadline.
Proving increasingly popular with its handy tips and helpful advice, the department’s online service was used by 9.9 million customers –meaning more than 92.5% of total returns were completed online. There were 758,707 people who completed their return on the last day before the deadline and the most popular hour for customers to hit submit was from 4pm to 5pm on 31 January with 60,596 returns received (1010 per minute, 17 per second).
Thousands of customers avoided any penalties at the last minute as 30,348 customers completed their returns from 11pm to 11:59pm yesterday. HMRC handled 195,260 calls over the course of the day but waiting times were kept at just three minutes and six seconds, meaning that hundreds of thousands of customers got the extra support they needed to meet the deadline.
Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services, thanked customers for meeting the deadline and said:
“It’s really fantastic to see that each year, more and more Self Assessment customers are getting ahead of the game and submitting their tax return before the 31 January deadline. But we’re not complacent, we want the number missing the deadline to be zero, and we’ll continue to adapt the process to make it easier and simpler for all our customers until every return is in on time and without avoidable errors.
“If you’re one of the small number that missed the deadline, please submit your return now to avoid further penalties. We really don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns.”