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Thousands flock to file festive tax returns

By Alan Beresford

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NEARLY 3000 customers filed their Self Assessment tax return on Christmas Day, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can reveal.

HMRC Director General for Customer Services Karl Khan. Picture: HMRC
HMRC Director General for Customer Services Karl Khan. Picture: HMRC

A total of 2700 did some festive filing, the peak time for completing tax returns being from 2pm to 2.59pm, with more than 200 customers pressing send on their online form.

The Self Assessment deadline is on January 31, 2021. Customers can complete their tax returns online ahead of the deadline and at a time that suits them. Every year, HMRC sees thousands of customers using the festive period to get their documents in order and complete the task.

Once Self Assessment customers have completed their 2019 to 2020 tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000.

They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits online. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from February 1, 2021.

To find out if they are eligible, customers can visit gov.uk to find out more about the service.

Karl Khan, HMRC’s Interim Director General for Customer Services, said: “Online Self Assessment means customers can do their tax returns at any time, day or night – even on Christmas Day if they want to.

“We’re here to help customers get their tax right, and there’s support available 24/7 like help sheets, webinars and YouTube videos. Search Self Assessment’ on gov.uk to find out more.”

In total, 31,400 customers completed their 2019 to 2020 tax returns between December 24-26.

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams.

Customers should always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to get the correct link for their Self Assessment tax return online securely and free of charge.

They also need to be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that they can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax. It might be a scam. Check gov.uk for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact.

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