More than 66,000 “early bird” taxpayers used the first day of the new tax year on April 6 to file their self-assessment return for 2021-22, HM Revenue & Customs disclosed.
The numbers of taxpayers filing returns online on the first day of the new tax year has roughly doubled in the past two years, compared with 2018 and 2019, when around 36,000 filed early.
However, this year’s crop of highly organised tax filers was significantly down on the 96,000 who took the opportunity of strict coronavirus lockdown on April 6 2020 to send their information relating to the 2019-20 tax year.
HMRC urged more people to follow the lead of the keenest taxpayers, rather than leave it until the last minute, as one-third did this year. With a week to go before the January 31 2022 deadline for self-assessment returns, 4mn Britons had yet to file.
The advantages of early filing included prompter refunds on any overpaid tax and the chance to spread tax payments over a longer period via weekly or monthly direct debit, HMRC said. It added it had updated its guidance on filing a return, including how to declare any Covid-19 support payments.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC director-general for customer services, said: “You don’t need to wait for the January rush to send us your tax return. More and more people are getting theirs out of the way early. Search ‘Self Assessment’ on Gov.uk to get started.”
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