Tax

Over 11 million tax returns are due to HMRC by 31 January

More than 11 million tax returns are due to HMRC by 31 January, but roughly 4.8 million are still to be completed, according to research by TaxScouts.

According to data revealed by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from HMRC obtained by TaxScouts, the main complaints made to HMRC last year were related to its processes and policies in place. 

According to the FOI 704,000 returns were submitted on the deadline day last year. The year before, 749,500 people left it to the last minute.

As of late last year, 71,638 complaints were received by HMRC for the current 2018/19 tax year. The numbers show that out of these complaints, 27 % were due to “mistakes and errors made by HMRC”.

While 24% were related to the poor process and systems the government body has in place. Another 22% of complaints were about delays and 11% were about policy and legislation.

Mart Abramov, co-founder and CEO of TaxScouts, said: “The disruptions we saw a couple of weeks ago on HMRC’s website are a warning sign of what could happen as the deadline draws nearer. The closer we get to 31 January the more we’ll see people panicking and stressing out. 

“The processes in place by HMRC also don’t help: 24% of complaints received last year were exactly on this. They are so confusing that, in a rush, people will be more prone to making costly mistakes.”

He added: “Additionally, this year the self-assessment deadline coincides with the date the UK will be leaving the European Union. Brexit could cause an HMRC backlog and we don’t want people to be caught up in potential chaos and bureaucratic delays when filing their return. This will likely lead to needless late penalties.”

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