Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 13th January 2015
A higher percentage of men than women file late self-assessment tax returns in the UK on an annual basis, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed.
According to the Treasury’s tax-gathering service, for every 10,000 tax returns, there were 394 late filings by British men in 2014, compared with 358 for every 10,000 returns among women.
HMRC’s revelations come a few weeks out from its latest deadline for online self-assessment tax return filings of January 31st 2015.
Analysis of HMRC’s figures also found that younger men and women were among the worst offenders when it came to failing to get their tax returns back on time last year. In fact, the numbers show that more than 10 per cent of all returns filed among 18 to 20 year olds around the country were received later than the January 31st 2014 deadline.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the seniority scale, people aged over 65 were found to be the most reliable in this context with only 155 in every 10,000 returns being filed later than the official deadline in that particular age bracket.
Data on these same subjects were also assessed from regional and industry perspectives, with taxpayers in the South West of England emerging as the least likely to miss the deadline and the construction sector found to be that with the worst record of any for punctuality when it came to self-assessment returns last year.
Of the English regions, London was home to the greatest proportion of late return offenders in 2014, with 512 people in every 10,000 across the capital not managing to get their self-assessment forms submitted on time.
“Whatever your gender, age, occupation or location, if you haven’t sent in your 2013-14 tax return, you need to take action now,” said Ruth Owen, HMRC’s director general of personal tax.
“HMRC offers a range of help and advice. But don’t leave it until the last minute to contact us. Do it now, and avoid a last-minute rush to beat the deadline,” she said.
Anyone who works for themselves but fails to submit relevant tax returns to HMRC on time faces being hit with a fine. Although, there is an appeals process available to anyone who feels they faced extenuating circumstances that left them genuinely unable to file their return on time.
HMRC recently revealed 10 of the worst excuses it has ever received in unsuccessful appeals against late filing penalties. The list includes reasons ranging from a dog eating all the relevant paperwork to having a pregnant girlfriend.
“People can have a genuine excuse for missing a tax deadline, but owning a pet with a taste for HMRC envelopes isn’t one of them,” Ms Owen commented.