Press release

‘We've been Santa lot of Elf Assessments’ says HMRC

HMRC reveals Self Assessment filing figures over the festive period.

Completing a tax return may not be on the top of your to-do list on Christmas Day, but that didn’t stop 3,003 taxpayers from filing their Self Assessment returns on 25 December.

For some customers, doing their tax return on Christmas Day is as traditional as enjoying the festivities with family and friends, or grabbing a bargain in the Boxing Day sales. This year, the peak time was between 12:00 and 12:59, when more than 245 customers filed.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

Whether you squeezed it in before tucking into a Christmas pudding, after the Queen’s Speech, or trying to grab a bargain during the festive sales, our online service is available for you to file your tax return at any time you wish.

More than 11 million customers are expected to complete a 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return form by 31 January 2020.

The number of tax returns filed during the festive period were:

25 December (total 3,003)

  • 00.00 to 08.00: 248
  • 08.01 to 16.00: 1,458
  • 16.01 to 00.00: 1,297

26 December (total 9,254)

  • 00.00 to 08.00: 380
  • 08.01 to 16.00: 5,115
  • 16.01 to 00.00: 3,759

For customers who are yet to start their 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment, films and webinars can take them through each stage of the process, with bespoke guidance for individuals’ varying circumstances. Help is also available on GOV.UK, on social media, or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.

If customers completed a Self Assessment tax return last year but didn’t have any tax to pay, they still need to complete a 2018 to 2019 tax return, unless HMRC has written to them to say that it is not required.

Further information

  1. Key filing figures:

    • 3,003 taxpayers filed on 25 December 2019
    • peak filing hour on 25 December was 12-1pm (245 tax returns were filed)
    • 9,254 taxpayers filed on 26 December 2019
    • peak filing hour on 26 December was 12 to 1pm (946 tax returns were filed)
    • 22,035 taxpayers filed on 24 December 2019
  2. Self Assessment guidance is available online
  3. Between 30 January, and 31 January, our phone helplines shut at 8pm. Customers can contact us via Webchat until midnight both days
  4. Tax is automatically deducted from the majority of UK taxpayers’ wages, pensions or savings. For people or businesses where tax is not automatically deducted, or when they may have earned additional untaxed income, they are required to complete a Self Assessment tax return each year.
  5. Be aware of copycat websites and phishing scams – always type in the full online address to obtain the correct link to file your Self Assessment return online securely and free of charge.
  6. HMRC uses your home address to determine whether you should be paying UK or Welsh/Scottish Rate of Income Tax, make sure yours is up to date by accessing your Personal Tax Account or
  7. Customers can also register for HMRC’s help and support email service or by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘HMRC videos, webinars and email alerts’.
Published 27 December 2019