Over one million self assessment taxpayers missed the filing deadline at midnight on 31 January, according to data published by HMRC.
A record 11.5 million taxpayers did file their 2022/23 self assessment tax returns by the deadline.
HMRC’s figures also showed that 1.1 million missed the deadline.
The final day saw 778,068 beat the clock to complete their return.
The peak hour for filing on 31 January was between 16:00 and 16:59 when 61,549 taxpayers submitted their returns. 32,958 filed between 23:00 and 23:59.
HMRC has urged anyone who missed the deadline to submit their tax return as soon as possible – late filing and late payment penalties apply for those who failed to submit by the deadline. It stated that there are many ways to pay, including online, using the HMRC app, by bank transfer or via a Time to Pay payment plan.
Myrtle Lloyd, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said:
‘Thank you to the millions of self assessment customers and agents who met the deadline. Anyone who has yet to file and is concerned that they cannot pay in full may be able to spread the cost of what they owe with a payment plan. Search ‘pay your self assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.’
Internet link: HMRC press release
The government must clarify plans around new customs processes as firms remain in the dark about crucial aspects of their operation, says the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The first phase of the UK’s Border Target Operating Model began on 31 January, with imports of plant and animal products now requiring export health certificates.
It is the first time for decades that EU firms will have to provide this documentation for goods they are sending to Great Britain. The BCC says it is unclear how prepared they are for the change.
The business group says there is more concern over a lack of clarity around physical checks of consignments, due to start in April.
Government figures show the UK imports just under 30% of all the food it consumes from the EU.
William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:
‘The government is finally implementing major changes to Great Britain’s inbound border controls and customs checks stemming from Brexit, but there are still unanswered questions around its plans.
‘Especially, as businesses are already facing a tough start to the year, with container shipping prices quadrupling as the Red Sea disruption continues.
‘The initial changes … should not cause many noticeable hold ups for inbound goods, although EU firms will be facing new charges to get export health certificates and will need to find vets to sign them.
‘The bigger issue is physical checks on a proportion of these imports, which are due to start in April.’
Internet link: BCC website
Artificial intelligence (AI) will affect almost 40% of all jobs around the world and deepen inequality, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.
In a new analysis, IMF researchers examined the potential impact of AI on the global labour market. It found that, in advanced economies, around 60% of jobs may be impacted by AI. In contrast, in emerging markets, exposure to AI is expected to affect 40% of jobs.
The IMF also suggested that AI could affect income and wealth inequality within countries. Workers able to make effective use of AI may see an increase in their wages and productivity, whilst those who cannot risk falling behind.
The IMF says policymakers should review the rise of AI in the workplace in order to prevent it from stoking social tensions. It has called for a careful balance of policies to tap into AI’s potential.
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director at the IMF, said:
‘In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions.
‘It is crucial for countries to establish comprehensive social safety nets and offer retaining programmes for vulnerable workers. In doing so, we can make the AI transition more inclusive, protecting livelihoods and curbing inequality.’
Internet links: IMF website
Tens of thousands more over 50s are now running their own businesses despite an overall decline in self-employment since 2020, according to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).
IPSE’s research found that the number of self-employed business owners aged 50 and over increased to 1.1 million in 2023 – 89,000 more than in 2020.
In the same period the total solo self-employed population fell by 154,000.
Additionally, of those aged 50 and over in self-employment, as many as one in six launched their businesses within the past three years.
IPSE’s Director of Policy, Andy Chamberlain, said:
‘It’s clear that self-employment’s offer of independence and autonomy in work are particularly attractive to experienced professionals, especially if they have lost an employed role or have become disillusioned with the nine-to-five.
‘Many harbour dreams of starting their own business, whether it’s to pursue a lifelong dream, increase their income or find a better work-life balance.
‘But the over 50s, now in the prime of their careers and with decades of experience under their belt, likely have even more confidence in their ability to make a success of it.’
Internet link: IPSE website
Just 35% of UK adults are confident they could complete the self assessment tax return form correctly, according to research by Standard Life.
Three in ten UK adults admit they do not feel confident they could complete the form correctly. A further 18% said they felt neither confident nor unconfident while 17% were not sure.
The research highlighted a widespread lack of awareness around self assessment timings, with more than half not knowing when the deadline for filing is.
In addition, among those who are currently, or soon will be, in the higher income tax bracket, 41% are unaware that they might need to fill in a self assessment tax return to claim all their pension tax relief.
Dean Butler, Managing Director for Retail Direct at Standard Life, said:
‘The deadline for filing self assessment tax returns is fast approaching, with returns needing to be submitted online by midnight on 31 January. So, if you’re one of the categories of people who needs to send a tax return then now is the time to act.
‘Tax returns can be tempting to put off, but it’s important to understand what’s required and file it on time to avoid any penalties which can be costly. Tackling the forms in advance, rather than leaving it to the last minute, will give you the time to gather the information needed and make the submission as stress free as possible.’
Internet link: Standard Life website