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Revenue receives record number of tax returns

A record 9.45 million self assessment tax returns were filed on time this year, with 7.65 million of these being filed online, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

Overall, more than 90% of taxpayers met the deadline for filing their 2010/11 tax return, representing an increase of 4% on the previous year.

The online filing deadline of 31 January was effectively extended this year, when HMRC announced that no penalties would be issued for online returns received by midnight on 2 February, following concerns over the likely impact of strike action by Revenue staff, which coincided with the deadline.

31 January proved to be the busiest day for online returns, while many other taxpayers chose to file their returns during the Christmas break. Over 1,000 people filed their returns on Christmas day, while a further 11,648 chose New Year's Day to settle their tax affairs.

Taxpayers who have not yet filed their returns or paid any outstanding tax are being urged to do so as soon as possible. Under HMRC's new penalty regime, taxpayers who fail to file their returns on time are liable to an immediate £100 penalty, even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time. This is followed by a series of further penalties where returns remain unfiled, or payments remain outstanding.