This year HMRC expected 12.2 million tax returns to be filed and as of last night's filing deadline two million are still outstanding.
Three weeks ago there were still near six million tax returns outstanding with the blame placed on health effects of the pandemic as well restrictions due to the pandemic. The extra pressure meant both individuals and accountants were expected to struggle to get in before the due date.
HMRC took note of this and relaxed the immediate late filing penalty so it only applies if the tax return is not submitted by the end of February 28th. In addition, the late payment penalty will only apply from April 1st if any payment due is still outstanding.
It is important to avoid the late payment penalty as this is 5 percent of any outstanding amount, whereas the late filing penalty is a fixed £100.
Interest however will be chargeable on any tax due and that started from today.
Yesterday there were over 630,000 tax returns pushed through the HMRC online website, with over 50,000 alone between 4pm and 5pm. Even at the final moments between 11pm and midnight near 21,000 tax returns were being submitted online.
This year just over 450,000 tax returns were sent via the paper method, which has the earlier deadline of October 31st.
HMRC is reminding people that if they are struggling financially to make their tax bill payment in full, the Time to Pay payment plan can still be set up and they have until April 1st to apply.
If the bill due is over £30,000 then a phone call to the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822 may provide additional help.