News story

Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…that I leave tax so late

Londoners are more likely to miss the tax return deadline than taxpayers in any other part of the UK, figures released today by HMRC reveal.

Around one in nine (11%) of the 560,000 people in Inner London who had to send in a tax return last year didn’t do so by the relevant deadline – 31 October for paper returns and 31 January for online submissions.

The one million taxpayers in Outer London were more punctual, with one in 11 (9%) failing to meet the deadline, but they were still the second worst offenders. The tardiest taxpayers outside of London were in the North West of England, with 8% of their 890,000 returns failing to meet the deadline.

Taxpayers in the rest of the English regions fared better. The most punctual were in the South West, with only 6% of their one million tax returns arriving late. The other English regions, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all registered 7% of late tax returns, which was the UK national average.

HM Revenue and Custom’s (HMRC) Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

Whether you’re from London, Livingston, Lisburn or Llandudno, the consequences of missing the tax return deadline are the same – an automatic £100 late-filing penalty.

The longer you delay, the more you have to pay. So if you still have to send us your tax return, take action now.

Anyone with an outstanding 2012 to 2013 tax return must send it online, and pay any tax they owe, by 31 January.

Visit HMRC’s website at to register for Self Assessment and file your online tax return for free. Using a search engine to find HMRC’s online filing service can produce results which include third party websites that charge to file on your behalf. Therefore, if you want to file for free, type the HMRC website address directly into your internet browser’s web address bar.

For general help and advice on completing a return, visit or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays).