While the rest of us were unwrapping presents, 2,828 Brits were filing their tax returns on the 25th of December. Our personal finance experts have put together some handy tips to guide you through the process.
This year, nearly three thousand people submitted their tax return on Christmas Day, according to HMRC, ahead of the self assessment deadline on January 31st.
The peak time was between 12:00 and 12:59, with 227 people submitting their tax returns while the rest of us prepared Christmas dinner.
In total, over 31,000 Brits submitted their tax returns between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, with Christmas Eve being the most popular of the three days with 19,802 tax returns filed.
If you haven’t completed your tax returns yet, you have a few days left. Luckily, experts at money.co.uk have put together some handy tips to guide you through the process:
James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance editor at money.co.uk, said: “We’re told to complete our self-assessment tax returns well in advance of the deadline on January 31st, as it can take several weeks to source the correct paperwork. But life doesn’t always work out that way
“In recent years a surprising number of people have been filing their tax returns on Christmas Day, with 2,828 doing exactly that this year.
“Between cooking Christmas dinner and dealing with in-laws and excited children, most people want to avoid the stress of finances on the biggest holiday of the year. However, there is actually a logical reason for people to submit their taxes during the festive season.
“For many people in the business sector, the 25th and 26th are their only days off from trading. It’s less a tradition to file taxes during the holiday season, or an escape from the chaos and more because it’s the only time they are free. This way they can focus on the New Year once they return to work.
“If you don’t fancy completing your tax return on Christmas day, you have until January 31st 2022 to complete it online. The deadline for paper returns has already passed.
“For anyone who hasn’t submitted an online tax return before, the first thing you need to do is register with the government website. However, this process can take up to three weeks, so it’s worth getting started as soon as you can.
“The most common mistake people make with tax returns is submitting an incorrect tax code. If HMRC have the wrong details, you could end up paying too much, or too little, so check you have the right code before you start the process.
“Once you’ve confirmed your tax code, the next step is to complete the online self-assessment form on the government website here. To complete it, you’ll need to gather all the relevant paperwork and documents, which can include your P60, P45, P11D or a P9D. You might also need to provide a summary of any rental income and expenses or statements of earnings from savings and investment.
“If you’ve overpaid tax it’s relatively easy to claim it back. You shouldn’t need to use a third-party company, in fact, you can check whether it’s worth claiming a tax rebate completely free using the HMRC tax checker.
“HMRC can also provide tax credits if you require financial assistance. These are payments from the government to help with the cost of living. You can check if you’re eligible for tax credits via the HMRC website, or you can visit the Citizens Advice Bureau for additional guidance.
“If you already receive tax credits, you are required to renew your application every year to ensure your details are correct. You can manage your status here.”
“For more information on tax credits, you can read our comprehensive guide here: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/your-tax-credit-renewal-questions-answered.htm”
James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.