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HMRC sees record number of online tax returns

Kathleen Hall

A record 7.65 million people submitted their tax returns online this year, 81% of the total number of tax returns filed, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

HMRC received nearly 445,000 online returns on 31 January – the day of the tax return deadline.  The SA rush hour occurred between 4pm and 5pm on 31 January, when 37,460 returns – more than one every 6 seconds – were received by HMRC.

Around 90.4% of taxpayers met the deadline, an increase of 4% (nearly 700,000 returns) on last year. This was the highest on-time filing result since HMRC was created, said HMRC.

Phil Pavitt, CIO at HMRC, (pictured) said: “This is an incredible result that we are all very proud of. The record numbers filing online this year show that the system works well, and continues to provide a reliable and easy access service to customers.”

Systems testing began in May 201, with HMRC’s SA online system operating on a high availability, scalable platform built on a combination of open source and Oracle technology. This allows customers to file returns using either HMRC’s portal software, or third party commercial software, said HMRC.

Although the 31 January deadline was unchanged, HMRC announced that no penalties would be issued for online returns received by midnight on 2 February, due to industrial action at HMRC contact centres. 


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