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From pensioners to teenagers, HMRC reveals who files a tax return

HMRC has today revealed that more pensioners filed a tax return for the 2020 to 2021 tax year compared to young people.

Overall, those aged 65 and over accounted for 16% of individuals who submitted a tax return, whereas 16 to 24 year olds made up 2.7% of total filers.

The new data is part of analysis by HMRC into the demographic data of the Self Assessment population. The findings also show:

  • people aged 45 to 54 were the largest group of filers, accounting for 24% of all tax returns submitted
  • more than 294,000 16 to 24 year olds filed a return, making up 2.7% of total filers
  • 62% of those who submitted a return last year were men, compared to 38% who were women

The data also showed that almost 146,000 people submitted their tax return at the earliest opportunity between 6 and 11 April 2021.

More than 12 million people are expected to file a Self Assessment tax return for the 2021 to 2022 tax year. Anyone yet to submit theirs has until 31 January to complete it, pay any tax owed or set up a payment plan, or risk having to pay a penalty.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“Time is running out for anyone who has yet to start their tax return – there is a wide range of guidance and webinars available online for those who need a helping hand. Just search ‘Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to make a start.”

Payments are also due on 31 January and customers still have time to decide which  payment option is best for them. For customers who are due a refund, they should include their bank account details in their tax return so that if HMRC needs to repay them, it can be done quickly and securely.

Customers can now use the free and secure HMRC app to make Self Assessment payments, as well as accessing information which they need to complete their tax return, including their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), National Insurance number and employment history.

Those who are unable to pay their tax bill in full can access support and advice on GOV.UK. HMRC may be able to help by arranging an affordable payment plan, known as Time to Pay. Customers should try to do this online; go to GOV.UK for more information. Alternatively, they can contact the helpline.

HMRC has a wide range of resources to help customers complete their tax return, including guidance, webinars and YouTube videos.

Customers need to be aware of the risk of scams as criminals use Self Assessment as an opportunity to commit fraud. Customers should check HMRC’s scams advice on GOV.UK.