The Inland Revenue this week denied it had extended the deadline for the submission of self-assessment returns, despite announcing that completed returns would be accepted up to a day later than originally planned. Although the deadline had legally passed – returns should not have been accepted after 7.30am on Tuesday – the Revenue said a concession from a court judgement meant forms could be submitted up to 7.30am on Wednesday. Despite the extension, the Revenue expected almost a million taxpayers to miss the deadline. The latest figures available as Accountancy Age went to press revealed the Revenue had received 7.53 million returns of the 9.64 million it has issued this year, or 83% of submissions were now in. A Revenue spokesman said it was expecting 90% of returns to meet the deadline this year. This would equate to around 970,000 returns missing the 31 January deadline, although it is unclear whether all these taxpayers would face a £100 fine. If that 90% is achieved, the number of late, or missing, returns would be up by more than a quarter of a million on last year. In each of the first two years of self-assessment, some 650,000 returns were late. Additional measures were taken this year in an attempt to ease the late rush. Tax payments could be made at post offices and tax offices until as late as Monday, and Revenue offices opened over the weekend to take returns. Enquiry centres also accepted payments of tax.
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