The record for the number of online returns, set last year when 7.93 million people filed over the internet, was also broken, as 8.48 million were sent online to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This represents 84.5% of all returns received – a record-breaking percentage.
With around 10.74 million 2012 to 2013 tax returns due by 31 January, this means 93.4% met the deadlines – 31 October for paper and 31 January for online. This is the highest percentage of on-time returns ever recorded.
The busiest day for online returns was 31 January, when HMRC received 569,847. The busiest hour occurred between 4pm and 5pm on the same day, when 45,706 returns – more than 12 per second – were received. And 21,027 people left it until the eleventh hour, and filed their online return between 11pm and midnight on deadline day.
Missing the tax return deadline results in a £100 late-filing penalty. There are further late-filing penalties after 3, 6 and 12 months.
People who need to complete a tax return include the self-employed, those with more than one income, and high-income parents who received Child Benefit after 7 January 2013.
To register for Self Assessment for the current or previous tax years, call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm on Saturday).