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5.7m people have less than a month left to submit their tax return

Around 5.7 million people have less than a month left to submit their tax return or potentially face a financial penalty, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

More than 12 million taxpayers are expected to file a return for the 2021/22 tax year by January 31 2023.

Some 42,500 people chose to see in 2023 by submitting their return on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director-general for customer services, said: “There is less than one month for customers to submit their tax returns and my message to those yet to start is: don’t delay, do it online.

“HMRC provides lots of useful information to help you get started. Visit gov.uk and search ‘self assessment’.”

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People who miss the January 31 deadline could face an initial £100 fixed penalty, even if there is no tax to pay, followed by further charges.

The revenue body said it will treat those with genuine excuses leniently, as it focuses on those who persistently fail to complete their tax returns and deliberate tax evaders.

Customers who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the January 31 deadline can avoid a penalty after this date.

People should also watch out for scammers using the forthcoming deadline to trick people with fake texts, calls and emails, which may claim that tax is owed or that people are entitled to a tax “rebate”.