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Tax return deadline is looming… and a FIFTH of us are set to panic at last minute, survey shows

Tax return deadline is looming… and a FIFTH of us are set to panic at the last minute, survey shows

  • Nearly one in five Britons is yet to file their tax returns, one week from deadline
  • Consumer group Which? found 19 per cent of people hadn’t even considered it 
  • Britons are expected to rack up 25million hours filing their tax returns this year


With the deadline for filing your tax return just a week away, nearly a fifth of Britons have not even started thinking about it yet, according to Which? 

The consumer champion, which strongly advises against filing a return too close to the January 31 deadline, found in a survey that 19 per cent of respondents had not considered doing something about it. 

Which? also found Britons will rack up 25million hours filing their returns this year and 22 per cent will have to use their savings to pay. 

Anyone who cannot file their return by January 31 will not receive a late filing penalty, provided they file online by February 28. Self-assessment taxpayers also have the option to set up a time to pay arrangement – a service which allows people or businesses to spread their tax payments (stock pic)

HMRC has announced that this year, due to the pandemic, self-assessment taxpayers have until February 28 to file without incurring a late-payment penalty but interest on overdue payments starts to accrue from February 1. 

Despite this, Which? recommends ‘the sooner you can get started, the better’. 

Its money editor, Jenny Ross, said: ‘You’ll still be charged interest if you don’t pay your bill by January 31.’

Which? asked 4,000 people about their tax-filing habits, revealing the average time taken to complete a return is more than two hours, with only 25 per cent of people able to do it in less than an hour.

Some 8 per cent of respondents said they laboured over the job for more than five hours.

But a smart 38 per cent are prepared, having already budgeted for the expense.

To avoid getting an immediate £100 fine and other repercussions costing thousands, Which? says ‘the sooner you can get started, the better’.

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