Record 6.9m met online tax deadline date

A RECORD 6.9 million people filed their tax return online by the January deadline, HM Revenue & Customs said.

The Revenue said 6,907,410 people had submitted an electronic form by midnight on January 31, accounting for 78 per cent of all returns for the 2009/2010 tax year.

The figure was 7 per cent higher than the 6.4 million people who filed their tax return online for the previous tax year.

Around 572,455 people left it until the last day to submit their form and avoid a 100 fine, making January 31 the busiest day of the year for using the online system.

The busiest hour was between 4pm and 5pm on January 31, when more than 49,000 people logged on to file their return.

The deadline for paper tax returns was October 31, and people had until midnight on January 31 to submit an online form or face being fined. Every year around 10 per cent of people fail to get their form in on time.

Consumers are fined 100 if they have not completed their tax returns by January 31, and they can incur a further 100 penalty if one has still not been submitted by July 31.

They also have to pay interest on any unpaid tax, while persistent offenders could face a penalty of up to 60 a day in certain circumstances.