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Festive filing reaches new high as self assessment deadline looms


The number of people who submitted their tax return online over the festive period has reached a new high, latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) suggest.


Christmas Eve was the busiest day for online filing, with more than 17,000 individuals completing their tax return – up by 19% on the previous year.


A record 1,566 returns were submitted on Christmas Day, while a further 4,493 were filed on Boxing Day.


Many taxpayers also chose to complete the self assessment process over the New Year. According to HMRC, a total of 26,905 returns were filed on New Year's Eve and almost 13,000 were submitted on New Year’s Day.


The Revenue has also published details of what it describes as the most ‘bizarre and flimsy’ excuses for sending in a late tax return.


A self-employed builder who claimed his pet goldfish had died and a Midlands farmer who had a ‘run-in with a cow’ were amongst HMRC’s list of oddest defences.


Others included a self-employed trader who claimed his wife wouldn’t give him the mail, and a woman who couldn’t concentrate after seeing a volcanic eruption on the news.


HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said: ‘There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.’


An estimated 10.9 million people are expected to complete a self assessment return for the 2012/13 tax year.


31 January is the last day for filing your tax return online without incurring a penalty. We can help with this process - please contact us for further information and advice.