Don't be late: Self-assessment tax return deadline date is Sunday 31 January, so here's a list of things you might want to know about avoiding that £100 late filing penalty

Hayley Kirton
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Keeping Time
The clock is ticking - deadline day is Sunday for self-assessment returns (Source: Getty)

We hope you've marked this Sunday 31 January in your diary – it's filing deadline day for self-assessment tax returns. But, if you need a break from your yearly paperwork, why not distract yourself with these seven facts about self-assessment?

1. It seems endless battles with train delays have left capital dwellers with a warped sense of timekeeping. Statistics from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that Londoners were mostly likely to file their return late last tax year compared to other regions of England.

2. Plodding through your paperwork may feel like a lonely task, but you're far from alone. HMRC has calculated that over 10m people in the UK need to complete a self-assessment tax return.

3. If, despite all good intentions, you've left it until the last minute to file your return this year, you won't be the only one. Of all the returns that reached HMRC before the deadline passed last year, 50,000 were submitted on filing day.

4. They say many things get better with age and that includes the ability to file a tax return on time. According to HMRC, those aged 65 and over were the least likely to fill after deadline date last year, while those in the 18 to 20 age bracket were most likely to miss the due date.

5. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's quite a few things people would prefer to do than fill out their tax return. Perhaps more surprisingly, Which? recently discovered that those things include changing a dirty nappy (50 per cent), unblocked a drain (35 per cent) and cleaning an oven (34 per cent).

6. However, some people would much rather tackle their tax details than get into the festive sprit. Last month, 2,044 people filed their tax return on Christmas Day, while a further 24,546 plumped to polish off their return on New Year's Eve.

7. If the worst does happen, HMRC may waive the fine if you have a reasonable excuse for missing the filing date and, this year, they are also accepting reasons in advance the deadline. However, just so you know, "my dog ate my paperwork" won't work.

If you're still craving more self-assessment fun facts after this list, then worry not: You can also read up on literally everything you'll need to fill in your online tax return and what you need to know about taxes if you're partaking in the UK's growing sharing economy.

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