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There is less than one month for around 5.7 million Self Assessment customers to file their tax return or they may face a penalty, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said.

More than 12 million customers are expected to file a tax return for the 2021 to 2022 tax year by 31 January 2023. HMRC has revealed that 129 customers submitted theirs on 1 January between 00:00 and 00:59, joining those customers who have already met their obligations.

More than 42,500 customers chose to see in the new year by submitting their return on 31 December and 1 January:

• New Year’s Eve: 25,043 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 14:00 and 14:59, when 2,713 returns were received.
• New Year’s Day: 17,571 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was between 15:00 and 15:59, when 1,697 returns were received.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “There is less than one month for customers to submit their tax returns and my message to those yet to start is: don’t delay, do it online. HMRC provides lots of useful information to help you get started. Visit GOV.UK and search ‘Self Assessment’.”

Self Assessment customers can submit their tax returns and pay any tax owed online at GOV.UK.

HMRC is warning customers that the deadline to submit a paper return has passed and tax returns can only be submitted online. Anyone who files after 31 January may face a penalty.

HMRC will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders. Customers who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the 31 January deadline can avoid a penalty after this date. The penalties for late tax returns are:

• an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
• after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
• after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
• after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

Customers need to pay any tax owed by the 31 January deadline. Information about the different ways to pay, including via the HMRC app, can be found on GOV.UK.

Those who are unable to pay their tax bill in full can access support and advice on GOV.UK. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan, known as Time to Pay. Customers should try to do this online; go to GOV.UK for more information. Alternatively, they can contact the helpline.

HMRC has a wide range of resources to help customers complete their tax return, including guidance, webinars and YouTube videos.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams. Check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK

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