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Almost 250,000 early birds file Self Assessment in first week

Almost 250,000 Self Assessment customers filed their 2022 to 2023 tax return during the first week of the tax year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

The number of customers choosing to file on the first day of the new tax year (6 April) has increased in recent years. Those opting to file in the first week of the new tax year has increased by nearly 100,000 customers since 2018.

The data, which examined numbers of customers who filed between 6 and 12 April, also revealed the most popular day to file a tax return during that week was 6 April and that Self Assessment customers enjoy a day of rest with the Sunday being the least popular day to file.

The increase in early bird filers means more customers are benefitting from filing their tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year well ahead of the deadline on 31 January 2024. Those who file early have more control over their financial affairs can take advantage of finding out what they owe and budget for it. If they are owed money, they can get their refund much sooner.

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

Our figures show more and more customers are benefitting from filing early which means they can relax knowing their tax return is complete, know what they owe and can budget. For those who haven’t yet thought about their tax return, go to GOV.UK, search ‘Self Assessment’ to get started.

If customers are unsure whether they need to complete a tax return, they can check if they need to complete a tax return by using the free online tool on GOV.UK.

If customers need support to file a tax return, there is no need to ring as HMRC has a wide range of resources online including a series of video tutorials on YouTubehelp and support on GOV.UK, as well as a webchat service.

Customers who have already filed their tax return can now take their time to plan to pay in the best way that suits them and their cash flow which may mean setting up a budget payment plan to manage their bill to pay before the deadline.

Customers who file early will also find out if they are owed money sooner and can go ahead and claim the refund once their tax return is submitted and processed. Customers can also check if they are due a refund in the HMRC app once they have filed their return.

If customers think they no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, they should tell HMRC - so that HMRC can issue a withdrawal notice - before the deadline on 31 January 2024 to avoid any penalties. 

HMRC has produced two videos explaining how customers can go online and stop Self Assessment if they are self-employed and those who are not self-employed.

How to go online and stop Self Assessment if you’re self-employed

How to go online and stop Self Assessment if you’re not self-employed

It is important that customers let HMRC know of any changes to personal details or circumstances, such as a new address or name, or if they have stopped being self-employed or their business has closed. Do not assume someone else will update HMRC, customers can make changes via GOV.UK.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams and should never share their HMRC login details with anyone, including a tax agent, if they have one. HMRC scams advice is available on GOV.UK.

Further information

Filing figures for the first week of the tax year:

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Filing date 17/18 18/19 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23
6 April 36,939 *35,255 96,519 63,768 66,492 77,517
7 April *18,145 *22,536 48,237 38,192 37,067 31,715
8 April *15,201 32,602 39,674 30,971 28,645 *18,896
9 April 23,983 28,765 34,641 25,119 *18,989 *14,377
10 April 22,060 24,426 24,391 *19,561 *17,190 29,284
11 April 20,522 22,516 *15,904 *17,277 31,381 38,006
12 April 19,390 21,126 *11,550 28,023 28,973 36,415
Total 156,240 187,226 270,916 222,911 228,737 246,210

*Denotes weekend

These figures do not include paper returns or amendments for previous years.

More information about Self Assessment

The deadlines for tax returns for 2022 to 2023 tax year are 31 October 2023 for paper returns and 31 January 2024 for online returns. The quickest and simplest way to file a tax return is online. Customers who chose to file by paper can find out how to request a paper return via GOV.UK. We no longer automatically issue paper returns unless there’s a reason a customer can’t file online.

Customers can use the HMRC app to find out how to register for Self Assessment, check their Unique Taxpayer Reference, any PAYE income details and pay their tax bill.

Visit GOV.UK for a full list of ways to pay your Self Assessment tax bill.


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