As Revenue officials brace themselves for a flood of forms this weekend, ahead of the first deadline on Monday, latest figures show online self-assessment is virtually doubling in popularity every year.
Online self-assessment’s first year ended on 31 January 2001 with 39,290 e-returns. By the close of the second year in January 2002 the figure had nearly doubled to 71,304. More than 100,000 online returns for the 2001/2 tax year had been received by last week, with more arriving every day.
A deadline extension from September to January, allowing online self-assessors to clear underpayments by amending their tax code, instead of making an upfront payment, is expected to further boost electronic self-assessment at the expense of traditional form-filling. A spokesman said: ‘It’s too early to predict full-year figures but we’re very pleased.’