From pensioners to teenagers, who files a tax return

People aged 65 and over accounted for 16% of those who filed a tax return for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

HMRC has revealed that more pensioners filed a tax return for the 2020 to 2021 tax year compared to young people.

Overall, those aged 65 and over accounted for 16% of individuals who submitted a tax return, whereas 16 to 24 year olds made up 2.7% of total filers.

The data is part of analysis by HMRC into the demographics of the Self Assessment population. They show:

  • people aged 45 to 54 were the largest group of filers, accounting for 24% of all tax returns submitted
  • more than 294,000 16 to 24 year olds filed a return, making up 2.7% of total filers
  • 62% of those who submitted a return last year were men, compared to 38% who were women

The data also showed that almost 146,000 people submitted their tax return at the earliest opportunity between 6th and 11th April 2021.

More than 12 million people are expected to file a Self Assessment tax return for the 2021 to 2022 tax year. Anyone yet to submit theirs has until 31st January to complete it, pay any tax owed or set up a payment plan, or risk having to pay a penalty.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services:

Time is running out for anyone who has yet to start their tax return – there is a wide range of guidance and webinars available online for those who need a helping hand. Just search ‘Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to make a start.

Payments are also due on 31st January 2023 and tax payers still have time to decide which payment option is best for them. For those who are due a refund should include their bank account details in their tax return so that if HMRC can repay them, it can be done quickly and securely.

Tax payers can now use the free and secure HMRC app to make Self Assessment payments, as well as accessing information which they need to complete their tax return, including their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), National Insurance number and employment history.

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

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

Be aware of the risk of scams as criminals use Self Assessment as an opportunity to commit fraud. Customers should check HMRC’s scams advice.

Demographic data for individuals who filed a 2020 to 2021 tax return between 6th April 2021 and 5th April 2022.

Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred
Figures relate to Self Assessment returns for individuals only

Find out more about Self Assessment.

The deadline is 31 January 2023. There are no plans to extend the filing and payment deadline.

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. The penalties for late tax returns are:

  • an initial fixed penalty of £100 the day after the due date, 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.

HMRC wants to help get tax right. While this is the busiest time of the year, there’s lots of information and support to access online without ringing HMRC:

Those who no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return need to inform HMRC otherwise they will think it’s late and issue a penalty.

Include a bank account when filing, so that if HMRC needs to make a repayment, they can do quickly and securely.

Those who don’t have a Government Gateway user ID and password will need two forms of evidence to prove their identity. This can include their UK passport and UK driving licence. HMRC are rolling out a new identity checking alternative, which allows the use the phone camera to confirm a match with the driving licence.

Never share Government Gateway user ID and password. Someone using these details could steal or make a fraudulent claim.

PAYadvice.UK 14/1/2023

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