Tax & admin · 20 December 2016

Christmas Day will set record for submitting tax returns 

christmas
Last year saw a 13 per cent rise in the number of people submitting tax returns on Christmas Day

Record numbers of UK business owners are now submitting tax returns over the festive season, choosing Christmas Day as the perfect time to file self-assessment forms online, according to the latest data.

On 25 December last year, a total of 2,044 business owners in Britain filed self-assessment tax returns – a new record – and the figure is likely to rise again in 2016, research from accounting firm FreeAgent has found.

Indeed, 2015 saw a 13 per cent increase in the number of business owners filing self-assessments and submitting tax returns on Christmas Day compared with 2014. Meanwhile, as many as 5,402 company owners chose Boxing Day instead to complete their year-end forms online.

A surprising number of Britons saw in the new year last year by submitting their tax return. Some 600 people submitted self-assessment forms between midnight and 10am on 1 January 2016.

Since 2013, there has been a year-on-year rise in the number of business owners submitting tax returns on Christmas Day. That year, just 1,566 submissions were completed throughout the day.

Commenting on the growing trend, FreeAgent co-founder Ed Molyneux said: “Instead of sitting down to a traditional turkey dinner or watching the latest Christmas TV specials, more and more people in Britain are celebrating the festive season by choosing to file their dreaded tax returns.

“Clearly, when Christmas starts to feel a bit much, completing a tax return can actually be a great opportunity to excuse yourself from the festivities and have some quiet time away from the hubbub.”

Despite the next deadline for submitting annual self-assessment tax returns falling on 31 January 2017, for many business owners the Christmas period may be their only opportunity for submitting tax returns.

Molyneux added that many people aim to finish their tax returns over Christmas so they can avoid the last minute scramble and make the most of getting back to work in January.

“Business owners can have complete peace of mind for the new year and actually look forward to January. They can then spend more time concentrating on other parts of their businesses, which will leave them in a much better position for the rest of the next year.”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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