A very SME christmas: online tax followed by turkey

Record numbers of SMEs submitted their self-assessment tax returns to HMRC on Christmas Day last year.

Despite the fact that the self-assessment tax deadline falls at the end of January, record numbers of people feel the holidays are the perfect time to file their tax returns online with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Government figures show that 2,044 business owners submitted self-assessment tax returns to HMRC on Christmas Day last year – a new record and a 13% increase on 2014. The most popular time for filing on Christmas Day is 12pm to 1pm – while many people are tucking into turkey and all the trimmings.

Meanwhile, 5,402 business owners chose to complete their self-assessment tax returns on Boxing Day 2015, while a record-breaking 24,546 people submitted their tax return online on New Year’s Eve last year.

The findings suggest that the Christmas and New Year bank holidays may be one of the few times that busy business owners can find time to tackle their paperwork.

Ed Molyneux, ceo and co-founder of online accounting software specialist FreeAgent, said: “Christmas is quite a busy time for business owners, who have to juggle their social life along with their business responsibilities. Clearly, when Christmas starts to feel a bit much, completing a tax return can actually be a great opportunity to excuse yourself from the festivities and have some quiet time away from the hubbub.”

What’s more, getting it done in good time means business owners can hit the ground running in January, he added.

“The real benefit of filing a self-assessment tax return over the festive season is that business owners can have complete peace of mind for the new year and actually look forward to January, instead of scrambling at the last minute to meet the tax deadline at the end of the month,” said Molyneux. “In addition to this, they can also spend more time concentrating on other parts of their businesses, which will leave them in a much better position for the rest of the next year.”

Credit: this article first appeared on Marketing Donut