According to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the two most prominent dates of the festive season – 25th and 31st December – saw a record number of people submit their tax returns early.
On Christmas Day, 2,044 people chose to file their tax return ahead of the 31st January deadline, which represents a 13 per cent increase from the same time last year.
However, this was easily surpassed by the figure for New Year’s Eve: in total, 24,546 people filed their return online on 31st December.
Furthermore, the tax authority’s records have revealed that 600 individuals filed their returns between midnight and 10am on 1st January.
For those that are still required to complete and submit a return for the 2014/15 tax year, this must be completed online by 31st January or financial penalties will be incurred, with an initial £100 fine, followed by £10 additions for every late day thereafter.
The deadline for paper tax returns was 31st October, so individuals that have not previously registered with the HMRC online service, or given permission for their accountant to submit on their behalf, are being urged to apply as soon as possible.
An activation code for a new online HMRC account can take up to one week to arrive because it is sent through the post.
Ruth Owen, HMRC’s director general of personal tax, said: “As we all enjoy the festive season it’s easy to see how completing your tax return can be forgotten, but the January 31 deadline will be here quicker than we think.”