Christmas Day – opening presents, eating turkey, completing your tax return?

Filing a tax return is not usually an activity you would associate with Christmas Day celebrations. However, a high number of people are expected to use the day to get their tax returns submitted.

In statistics released by HMRC under the Freedom of Information Act, it is anticipated that over 3,000 self-assessment tax returns will be filed on 25th December. Untied, the personal tax app, released this information 20th December 2021.

Untied have also predicted that 17,000 tax returns will be completed on New Year’s Day, a day when many in the country will be nursing a sore head from New Year’s Eve celebrations the night before.

Furthermore, an estimated 700,000 people are expected to submit their tax returns on the deadline day of 31st January 2022. In total, according to Untied’s statistics, only 54% of individuals will have completed their mandatory self-assessment forms before the start of 2022. This leaves a whopping five million people who still have to file in the last four weeks before the deadline of midnight on 31st January.

It may seem bizarre to some that certain individuals would use the festive period to work on their tax returns instead of making merry, however, as Kevin Sefton, CEO of Untied said:

“…it’s clear that some people see it as a good time to put tax ahead of telly and turkey. It gives them confidence, comfort and control going into the new year.”

Should returns be filed over Christmas?

For many reasons, using this time to get their tax affairs in order makes a lot of sense for taxpayers. It is a time when many lucky people have extended time off from work and spend a significant amount of time at home, with many shops and other businesses also closed.

Therefore, to some, it may seem the ideal time to get their obligatory returns filed, relieving a great deal of stress that many feel when the filing is left till January.

For instance, HMRC figures show that every day in January between 30,000 and 700,000 people must rush to submit their forms by 31st January. Almost a million miss the deadline and receive a late-filing penalty. In light of this, it is understandable why some individuals use their Christmas break to ensure they can avoid the same January stress many other self-assessment customers experience.

If you have not yet submitted your tax return, our advice would be to enjoy your Christmas break but perhaps cast an eye over your tax records, if you get a moment, between glasses of Buck’s Fizz.

This may greatly aid your own peace of mind and prevent a January panic. January can be a gloomy enough month without the added stress of being ill-prepared for the tax return deadline, and any small measures taken while you have some free time should make a difference.

As always, if you would like any further information regarding the above, please feel free to contact our team by email