Year-End & Cash Flow

No rest for the self-employed as many expected to submit tax returns on Christmas Day

Hannah Wilkinson | 23 December 2015 | 8 years ago

tax returns on Christmas Day
Christmas Day submissions usually spike around lunchtime.
Almost 2, 000 self-assessments were submitted to HMRC on December 25 in 2014 with year-on-year increases suggesting that the number may be even higher this year.

Data from the tax authority revealed that Christmas Day submissions usually spike around lunchtime.

A total of 24, 228 forms were submitted last year over the three-day period from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day with December 24 the most popular day for freelancers and contractors to file their tax returns.

christmas isnt always the most tranquil of holidays and people have to juggle a very busy social lives during this period of time. So 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, said Ed Molyneux, CEO of accounting software firm Free Agent.

filing returns early also means people can have complete peace of mind for the new year and actually look forward to January, instead of scrambling at the last minute to meet the tax deadline at the end of the month. This is especially important for freelancers and micro businesses as it means they can concentrate on other parts of their businesses, which will leave them in a much better position for the rest of the next year, he added.

Many of those expected to submit their tax returns over the festive season are likely to be aiming for the December 31 deadline rather than the more widely publicised 31 January cut off.

The difference between these two dates is that freelancers who owe less than 3, 000 for the 2014/2015 tax year and will receive income through employment in 2016 can ask HMRC to deduct repayments through PAYE in equal installments throughout the year as long as their tax returns are submitted by the end of this year.

“Employees who might benefit should consider filing early, perhaps in the quieter few days in the last week of December but perhaps not necessarily join the growing number of people who actually file their online self-assessment returns on Christmas Day, said Frank Nash, a tax partner at Blick Rothenberg.

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