HM Revenue & Customs says that women are better than men at filing their tax returns on time, and that on a region by region basis Londoners miss more filing deadlines than anyone else in the country.

On an industry by industry basis construction workers have the worst late filing record, and looking at the different regions, you are most likely to file on time if you are in Northern Ireland.

So, looking at HMRC's rather limited data, it appears that the best tax return filers are female, over 65 and based in the South West of England!

Self Assessment deadlines at a glance: 

  • The deadline for filing the online 2013/14 Self Assessment tax return is midnight on 31 January 2015.
  • The deadline for paper returns was 31 October 2014.
  • Late filing results in an automatic late filing penalty.
  • The deadline for settling any outstanding tax liability for the 2013/14 tax year is 31 January 2015, a late payment penalty is applied if payment is made more 30 days late, so you must pay you liability by 2 March 2015.
  • If you are required to make payments on account for 2014/15 you must make your first payment on account by 31 January 2015.

see Self Assessment late filing and late payment penalties.

You need to obtain a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) from HMRC in order to file online. These can take two weeks to arrive.

Click here to go back to Nichola's SME Tax update 21 January 2015

HMRC's announcement says that:

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

As well as a gender gap, HMRC’s analysis showed a significant difference in filing behaviour between age ranges. People aged 18 to 20 were the worst offenders, with 1,085 in every 10,000 filing late. At the other end of the scale, those aged 65 or over were the most punctual, with only 155 out of every 10,000 missing the deadline. HMRC’s analysis found that the older you are, the more likely you are to send in your tax return on time.

In terms of differences between workers in different industries, those in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industry are the star performers, with just 109 in every 10,000 filing late returns. Lawyers and accountants came 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 United Kingdom, taxpayers in Northern Ireland were 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 was 372 late filers per 10,000.

Within the English regions, South West taxpayers were the least likely to miss the deadline (299 per 10,000), followed by the East Midlands (324 per 10,000), Yorkshire and the Humber (337 per 10,000) and the West Midlands (344 per 10,000). By some distance, the worst-performing region was London (512 per 10,000), followed by taxpayers in the North East (380 per 10,000), North West (369 per 10,000), South East (355 per 10,000) and the East of England (346 per 10,000)."