Women more reliable than men for prompt tax returns

Women are more likely than men to send in their tax return on time, research finds.

Women are more likely than men to send in their tax return on time, research finds.

For every 10,000 tax returns received last year by HMRC from men, 394 were after the relevant deadline – 31 October for paper submissions and 31 January for online returns, according to findings from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 

This compares to 358 late returns for every 10,000 received from women.

As well as a gender gap, HMRC’s analysis shows a significant difference in filing behaviour between age ranges; 18 to 20-year-olds are the worst offenders, with 1,085 in every 10,000 filing late.

At the other end of the scale, those aged 65 or over are the most punctual, with only 155 out of every 10,000 missing the deadline.

The analysis finds that the older you are, the more likely you are to send in your tax return on time.

Workers in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industries are the star performers, with just 109 in every 10,000 filing late returns.

Lawyers and accountants come second (219 late filers per 10,000), with health and social workers (262 per 10,000) in third place.

Workers in the information and communication industries fared the worst (390 per 10,000), with administrative and support services not far behind (388 per 10,000) and the construction industry the next worst-performing sector (352 per 10,000).

Across the UK, taxpayers in Northern Ireland are the most punctual (301 per 10,000), followed by those in Wales (346 per 10,000), England (374 per 10,000) and Scotland (391 per 10,000). The figure for the United Kingdom as a whole is 372 late filers per 10,000.

Within the English regions, South West taxpayers are the least likely to miss the deadline (299 per 10,000), followed by the East Midlands (324 per 10,000).

Ruth Owen, HMRC director general of personal tax says, ‘Whatever your gender, age, occupation or location, if you haven’t sent in your 2013-14 tax return, you need to take action now.

You must file your 2013-14 tax return, and pay what you owe, by midnight on 31 January. If you haven’t yet registered for HMRC Online Services, you need to act now, as it involves HMRC posting you an Activation Code and this can take up to ten days to arrive.

Help and advice on filing your return is available from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns or the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).

Further reading on accounts

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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