It seems to me that there are basically two types of taxpayer and the split is pretty even.
The first type are ‘Organised Planners’, they prepare things as early as possible, work out what tax might be due and how they will pay it, look at ways to change things and file early. They will always pay less tax because they have had a chance to consider their options – Pensions, Gift Aid, SEIS, EIS and other things that reduce tax – they also tend to have a full set of records neatly posted on their accounting system.
The second type are ‘Just in Time’, whatever the deadline, they put things off. The problem with this is that often this means things get forgotten and paperwork gets lost, there is no time to prepare or plan and the tax will be payable immediately.
The added problem this year is that Credit Card Payments are no longer an option
In 2016, personal credit card payments for tax numbered 454,000 making of total of £741 million and resulting in £3.2 million in bank fees.
These payments were largely made by small businesses, looking to manage bulk payments by putting them on a credit card that could then be paid off over time.
Below are some statistics from HMRC from 2012, but I think that little has changed and the statistics will be similar this year.
I don’t think anyone would say they enjoy paying tax or filling in forms, so in some ways you can understand why some people put it off and do it ‘just in time’.
Last year HMRC reported
29 January was the busiest day with 513,271 returns completed – that’s more than 21,386 returns received per hour. The busiest time was between 14:00 and 15:00, with 50,358 customers – 14 per second – clicking submit.
If you haven’t done your return, do it now, don’t wait till 11.59 on 31st January.