It is fascinating that some people spend Christmas Day filing their self assessment tax return. And HMRC have released this year’s figures.

People actually submitted on Christmas Day?

Yes, HMRC report that by 8am on Christmas morning, 248 self assessment tax returns had been submitted. By the end of the day, 3,003 submissions were received.

Last year, the total was 2,500 filings on actual Christmas Day. So that’s an increase of 15% this year.

Other festive tax facts

  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day total: 12,257 people submitted their tax returns: 9% more than 2018
  • Boxing Day: 9,254 submissions. Over 5,000 of these were during the daytime, between 8am and 4pm
  • Christmas Day: 1,458 between 8am and 4pm. 1,297 between 4pm and 12 o’clock.

Why are people doing their tax return on Christmas Day and Boxing Day?

Well, the reasons are not part of HMRC’s data collection. For some, these are the only two days off they have. So it would make sense to get it out of the way before they go back to work. If you’re self employed, especially as a sole trader, you are the business.

You’ve pushed everything to the limit in the run up to Christmas and this is the first chance you’ve had to think about the impending January deadline. You’re going straight back into January sales, so it just made sense to get it over and done with around the turkey and presents and before the food coma takes hold.

Remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas, for religious and other reasons, so it’s just a handy couple of days off.

Perhaps some use it as a ‘serious reason’ to avoid visiting relatives.

With over 11 million people submitting a 2018-19 self assessment tax return, perhaps it’s more surprising that the figure isn’t higher.

When is the deadline for the 2018-19 tax year?

The deadline to submit your 2018-19 self assessment tax return is midnight on 31st January 2020. So if you’re not sure you need to submit one, check it out sooner rather than later. You must file online and you need all your details to hand before you start.

It is not a good idea to miss the deadline as the fines start straightaway at £100. They then go up the longer you wait, and all accumulate into a substantial total. You get a fine even if you don’t have any tax to pay. You also incur penalties and interest for late payment of your tax bill, which is due on the same date.