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Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…that I leave tax so late

Press release   •   Jan 17, 2014 10:11 GMT

Londoners are more likely to miss the tax return deadline than taxpayers in any other part of the UK, figures released today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reveal.

Around one in nine (11 per cent) of the 560,000 people in Inner London who had to send in a tax return last year didn’t do so by the relevant deadline – 31 October for paper returns and 31 January for online submissions.

The one million taxpayers in Outer London were more punctual, with one in 11 (9 per cent) failing to meet the deadline, but they were still the second worst offenders. The tardiest taxpayers outside of London were in the North West of England, with 8 per cent of their 890,000 returns failing to meet the deadline.

Taxpayers in the rest of the English regions fared better. The most punctual were in the South West, with only 6 per cent of their one million tax returns arriving late. The other English regions, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all registered 7 per cent of late tax returns, which was the UK national average.

HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“Whether you’re from London, Livingston, Lisburn or Llandudno, the consequences of missing the tax return deadline are the same – an automatic £100 late-filing penalty.

“The longer you delay, the more you have to pay. So if you still have to send us your tax return, take action now.”

Anyone with an outstanding 2012-13 tax return must send it online, and pay any tax they owe, by 31 January.

Visit HMRC’s website at to register for Self Assessment and file your online tax return for free. Using a search engine to find HMRC’s online filing service can produce results which include third party websites that charge to file on your behalf. Therefore, if you want to file for free, type the HMRC website address directly into your internet browser’s web address bar.

For general help and advice on completing a return, visit or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays).

Notes for editors

1.  Around 10.9 million people are expected send a tax return for the 2012-13 tax year.

2.  The UK Self Assessment filing populations on which the figures are based are as follows: Inner London – 560,000; Outer London – 990,000; North West – 890,000; East Midlands – 640,000; West Midlands – 750,000; East of England – 1,040,000; South East – 1,710,000; South West – 1,000,000; Yorkshire & The Humber – 680,000; North East – 270,000; Northern Ireland – 240,000; Scotland – 660,000; and Wales – 400,000.

3.  The penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:

  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, 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 per cent of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
  • after 12 months, another 5 per cent or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

4.  There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5 per cent of the tax unpaid at: 30 days; 6 months; and 12 months.

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.