One week left for 3.5 million people to meet tax return deadline

More than 3.5 million people have just one week left to complete their self-assessment tax returns and pay any tax owed.

The deadline to complete a 2017/18 tax return online is 11.59pm on January 31, and last year more than 93% of customers filed their returns by the deadline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said.

Just over 11.5 million returns are due, and so far slightly more than eight million have been received.

An extra 25,000 customers have already filed their self-assessment returns, compared with the same time last year.

But HMRC is reminding people that if their tax return is late, they will receive a £100 penalty, even if they do not owe any tax. The longer the delay, the bigger the size of the penalties.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride said: “The deadline for the self-assessment tax return is fast approaching but there is still time for the 3.5 million customers who haven’t completed their return to file by January 31.

“With only seven days to go it is important that customers are reminded of the self-assessment deadline in order to avoid paying penalties.”

Angela MacDonald, HMRC director general of customer services, said: “We are encouraging all self-assessment filers to complete their returns by January 31 and support is available every step of the way.

“Taxpayers can make use of HMRC’s online services, webinars and videos, the customer service helpline, webchat or our social media channels.

“We are on hand to offer support and advice to help you complete your tax return.”

If customers think they will not be able to complete their tax return by January 31, they should contact HMRC.

The taxman recently released a list of unusual but unsuccessful excuses for why people had not got their tax returns in on time, including one from someone who claimed they had been the victim of a witch’s curse.

HMRC has said help will be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.

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