Tax Return Statistics – How Many Are Submitting Late?

5 months ago

We get it. Submitting your tax return is not an enjoyable experience. It’s one of those would-rather-poke-your-eyes out necessary evils of freelancing or self employed life though.

Some are incredibly organised and submit it months in advance. Others (ahem, maybe me) are more like the December or early January types. Some are right to the wire on deadline day. And, according to these tax return statistics, a fair quantity of people submit theirs late.

We acquired some data from the very helpful Freedom of Information team at HMRC to find out how widespread late submission is and where in the UK it’s most prevalent. See the final paragraph on this page to find the methodology and notes on the numbers.

Statistics: How Many Tax Returns are Submitted Late?

According to data provided to me by HMRC:

“11,665,300 Self Assessment returns for the tax year 2017-18, with a filing deadline of 31 January 2019, were issued by or on 31st October 2018. 

576,500 self assessment returns included in the total above were received after the January 2019 deadline but before January 2020. This is when our data was last refreshed.”

 In other words, 4.94% of tax returns due by 31st January 2019 were late.


Late Returns – Where in the Country is Submitting Latest?

HMRC broke this down by region for us. Here’s the spreadsheet they sent if you want the raw data.

The key findings:

  • The local authority with the highest proportion of late returns is Tower Hamlets (8.38%)
  • This was followed by Hackney (7.97%) and Newham (7.94%)
  • In fact, 8 of the 10 local authorities with the highest proportion of late returns are located within the London GOR.
  • The local authority with the lowest proportion of late returns is South Lakeland in Cumbria, where just 2.56% of returns were submitted late

Here is the data:




County locauthissuedreceived after 31st Jan 19 % Received Late
Foreign and Unknown Unknown229000202008.82
London GOR Tower Hamlets5490046008.38
London GOR Hackney5520044007.97
London GOR Newham7050056007.94
London GOR Southwark6200048007.74
Merseyside Knowsley1450011007.59
London GOR Westminster7710058007.52
London GOR Barking and Dagenham3860029007.51
London GOR Islington5460041007.51
Greater Manchester Manchester5780043007.44
London GOR Lambeth6790050007.36
London GOR Kensington and Chelsea5350039007.29
London GOR Lewisham5770042007.28
All South East UA Slough UA2490018007.23
London GOR Hammersmith and Fulham4880035007.17
Northamptonshire Corby84006007.14
Merseyside Liverpool4960035007.06
All East Midlands UA Nottingham UA3170022006.94
London GOR Hounslow5980041006.86
London GOR Waltham Forest6600045006.82
London GOR Greenwich5290036006.81
Wales Torfaen90006006.67
Rhondda, Cynon, Taff
West Midlands Coventry3940026006.60
West Midlands Sandwell3060020006.54
London GOR Croydon7500049006.53
London GOR Haringey6910045006.51
Northamptonshire Northampton3720024006.45
All South East UA Southampton UA3260021006.44
London GOR Brent7920051006.44
All North East UA Middlesbrough UA140009006.43
Scotland Glasgow City6550042006.41
London GOR Camden6570042006.39
Hampshire Rushmoor141009006.38
Greater Manchester Salford2980019006.38
West Sussex Crawley1570010006.37
Essex Harlow126008006.35
Scotland North Lanarkshire3170020006.31
West Midlands Birmingham12550079006.29
Wales Caerphilly1750011006.29
West Midlands Wolverhampton2740017006.20
All Yorkshire and the Humber UA Kingston upon Hull UA2100013006.19
All East Midlands UA Leicester UA3580022006.15
Kent Gravesham1790011006.15
London GOR Wandsworth8650053006.13
All South East UA Medway Towns UA4090025006.11
Suffolk Ipswich1800011006.11
All North West UA Halton UA131008006.11
Scotland Aberdeen City3440021006.10
London GOR Ealing8220050006.08
Scotland North Ayrshire148009006.08
Scotland Renfrewshire1810011006.08
All South East UA Reading UA2800017006.07
All North East UA Hartlepool UA99006006.06
Greater Manchester Oldham2660016006.02
Scotland Dundee City150009006.00
Greater Manchester Tameside2510015005.98
Hertfordshire Watford2010012005.97
All East UA Thurrock UA2690016005.95
London GOR Redbridge7570045005.94
Wales Neath Port Talbot135008005.93
London GOR Enfield6920041005.92
All East UA Luton UA3560021005.90
All West Midlands UA Stoke-on-Trent UA2380014005.88
London GOR Hillingdon5630033005.86
Merseyside St Helens1890011005.82
Tyne & Wear Sunderland2580015005.81
Tyne & Wear South Tyneside155009005.81
Scotland Falkirk1730010005.78
West Midlands Walsall3120018005.77
Essex Basildon3120018005.77
London GOR City of London1910011005.76
Scotland East Ayrshire139008005.76
London GOR Merton5590032005.72
Northern Ireland Belfast3320019005.72
South Yorkshire Doncaster3690021005.69
Hertfordshire Stevenage123007005.69
All East Midlands UA Derby UA2990017005.69
Greater Manchester Rochdale2640015005.68
Wales Newport1760010005.68
London GOR Havering4940028005.67
All South East UA Milton Keynes UA4590026005.66
Lancashire Rossendale106006005.66
Norfolk Norwich1950011005.64
All East UA Peterborough UA2840016005.63
Gloucestershire Gloucester160009005.63
Tyne & Wear North Tyneside2490014005.62
London GOR Bexley4100023005.61
Hampshire Gosport107006005.61
Wales Bridgend161009005.59
Greater Manchester Wigan3760021005.59
All North East UA Stockton-on-Tees UA2340013005.56
Surrey Spelthorne1990011005.53
All South West UA Plymouth UA3270018005.50
Wales Cardiff4750026005.47
Tyne & Wear Gateshead2010011005.47
Scotland West Lothian2020011005.45
Lancashire Burnley92005005.43
Oxforshire Oxford2580014005.43
All South East UA Portsmouth UA2950016005.42
Tyne & Wear Newcastle upon Tyne3340018005.39
Merseyside Sefton3720020005.38
Hertfordshire Broxbourne1860010005.38
Kent Dartford1860010005.38
Greater Manchester Bury2800015005.36
Worcestershire Redditch112006005.36
Surrey Runnymede1870010005.35
Warwickshire Nuneaton and Bedworth150008005.33
Lincolnshire Lincoln113006005.31
All South West UA Swindon UA3220017005.28
All North East UA Redcar and Cleveland UA152008005.26
Merseyside Wirral4180022005.26
All South West UA Bournemouth UA3430018005.25
Northern Ireland Derry City and Strabane1910010005.24
All South West UA Bristol UA8050042005.22
West Yorkshire Bradford6740035005.19
Greater Manchester Bolton3680019005.16
South Yorkshire Rotherham3100016005.16
London GOR Bromley7770040005.15
London GOR Harrow7580039005.15
South Yorkshire Barnsley2920015005.14
Kent Swale2340012005.13
Scotland Fife4680024005.13
East Sussex Hastings157008005.10
Lancashire Preston177009005.08
Scotland Midlothian118006005.08
Nottinghamshire Ashfield138007005.07
Norfolk Great Yarmouth138007005.07
All West Midlands UA Telford and Wrekin UA2170011005.07
All North West UA Warrington UA3160016005.06
All Yorkshire and the Humber UA North East Lincolnshire UA178009005.06
All East UA Southend-on-Sea UA3170016005.05
London GOR Sutton4170021005.04
West Yorkshire Leeds10730054005.03
All North West UA Blackburn with Darwen UA159008005.03
Scotland South Lanarkshire4180021005.02
All North East UA Darlington UA140007005.00
South Yorkshire Sheffield6800034005.00
Worcestershire Worcester140007005.00
Edinburgh, City of
London GOR Richmond upon Thames6430032004.98
West Yorkshire Wakefield4020020004.98
All South East UA Brighton and Hove UA6240031004.97
Lancashire Pendle121006004.96
Northamptonshire Wellingborough121006004.96
Suffolk Forest Heath101005004.95
London GOR Barnet11120055004.95
All North West UA Blackpool UA182009004.95
All South East UA Bracknell Forest UA2240011004.91
London GOR Kingston upon Thames4080020004.90
Warwickshire Rugby185009004.86
Kent Maidstone3300016004.85
Hertfordshire Welwyn Hatfield2270011004.85
Hertfordshire Three Rivers2490012004.82
Derbyshire Chesterfield126006004.76
Nottinghamshire Mansfield126006004.76
Staffordshire Cannock Chase126006004.76
Cambridgeshire Fenland147007004.76
Kent Thanet2320011004.74
Hertfordshire Hertsmere2960014004.73
All East UA Bedford UA3200015004.69
Hertfordshire Dacorum3420016004.68
Hampshire Basingstoke and Deane3430016004.66
Surrey Elmbridge4510021004.66
West Midlands Dudley3870018004.65
Kent Dover194009004.64
Kent Ashford2590012004.63
Greater Manchester Trafford4320020004.63
Kent Canterbury2810013004.63
All North East UA County Durham UA6060028004.62
Cambridgeshire Cambridge2600012004.62
Kent Shepway195009004.62
Wales Swansea2820013004.61
Surrey Surrey Heath2170010004.61
All South East UA Windsor and Maidenhead UA4130019004.60
Scotland East Lothian174008004.60
Derbyshire Erewash153007004.58
Buckinghamshire Wycombe4160019004.57
Greater Manchester Stockport4840022004.55
Essex Epping Forest3520016004.55
Wales The Vale of Glamorgan2200010004.55
Essex Brentwood199009004.52
West Sussex Worthing199009004.52
Essex Colchester3320015004.52
Scotland East Dunbartonshire178008004.49
Lancashire South Ribble157007004.46
West Midlands Solihull3820017004.45
All South West UA Poole UA2930013004.44
All East UA Central Bedfordshire UA5420024004.43
Nottinghamshire Gedling181008004.42
East Sussex Eastbourne181008004.42
Essex Castle Point159007004.40
All South West UA South Gloucestershire UA4770021004.40
Surrey Woking2500011004.40
Staffordshire East Staffordshire182008004.40
Wales Flintshire205009004.39
Lancashire West Lancashire184008004.35
Northamptonshire Kettering161007004.35
Kent Tonbridge and Malling2760012004.35
West Yorkshire Calderdale3230014004.33
West Yorkshire Kirklees6000026004.33
Nottinghamshire Broxtowe162007004.32
Staffordshire Newcastle-under-Lyme162007004.32
Suffolk Waveney186008004.30
Worcestershire Wyre Forest163007004.29
Scotland South Ayrshire163007004.29
East Sussex Lewes2330010004.29
Northern Ireland Lisburn and Castlereagh210009004.29
Hampshire Eastleigh2340010004.27
Surrey Tandridge2340010004.27
Essex Rochford164007004.27
Hampshire Havant211009004.27
Surrey Reigate and Banstead3520015004.26
Essex Tendring2350010004.26
West Sussex Arun3060013004.25
All Yorkshire and the Humber UA North Lincolnshire UA213009004.23
West Sussex Mid Sussex3560015004.21
All South West UA Wiltshire UA10470044004.20
Hertfordshire East Hertfordshire3570015004.20
Derbyshire South Derbyshire167007004.19
Nottinghamshire Bassetlaw167007004.19
Devon Exeter191008004.19
Essex Chelmsford3600015004.17
Surrey Epsom and Ewell192008004.17
Essex Braintree2890012004.15
Lancashire Lancaster217009004.15
Newry, Mourne and Down
Scotland Moray145006004.14
All South East UA Wokingham UA4110017004.14
Surrey Guildford3630015004.13
Leicestershire Hinckley and Bosworth194008004.12
Essex Uttlesford2430010004.12
Kent Sevenoaks3160013004.11
Leicestershire Blaby171007004.09
Wales Wrexham171007004.09
Northern Ireland Antrim and Newtownabbey171007004.09
Oxforshire Cherwell2940012004.08
Northamptonshire South Northamptonshire221009004.07
Buckinghamshire South Buckinghamshire221009004.07
Northamptonshire East Northamptonshire172007004.07
All South East UA West Berkshire UA3700015004.05
Scotland Argyll and Bute173007004.05
Scotland Highland4470018004.03
All Yorkshire and the Humber UA York UA3230013004.02
All South West UA Torbay UA2490010004.02
All North West UA Cheshire West and Chester UA5980024004.01
Buckinghamshire Aylesbury Vale4240017004.01
Cambridgeshire Huntingdonshire3250013004.00
Scotland Angus176007003.98
Lincolnshire South Holland151006003.97
Warwickshire Warwick3030012003.96
Somerset Sedgemoor228009003.95
Hertfordshire St Albans4070016003.93
Staffordshire Stafford229009003.93
Gloucestershire Tewkesbury179007003.91
Suffolk St Edmundsbury205008003.90
Gloucestershire Cheltenham231009003.90
Scotland Aberdeenshire5390021003.90
Norfolk Breckland232009003.88
Hertfordshire North Hertfordshire2840011003.87
Lancashire Fylde155006003.87
Wales Denbighshire155006003.87
Somerset Taunton Deane233009003.86
Derbyshire North East Derbyshire156006003.85
Leicestershire Charnwood2860011003.85
Nottinghamshire Newark and Sherwood208008003.85
Lincolnshire South Kesteven2610010003.83
Norfolk Kings Lynn and West Norfolk2620010003.82
Hampshire Fareham210008003.81
Surrey Mole Valley2630010003.80
Hampshire Hart237009003.80
Northern Ireland Ards and North Down237009003.80
All South West UA Cornwall UA12410047003.79
Cambridgeshire East Cambridgeshire185007003.78
Lancashire Chorley186007003.76
Wales Carmarthenshire3210012003.74
Oxforshire South Oxfordshire3750014003.73
Northamptonshire Daventry188007003.72
North Yorkshire Selby162006003.70
All South East UA Isle of Wight UA2700010003.70
Scotland East Renfrewshire162006003.70
Kent Tunbridge Wells2980011003.69
Hampshire New Forest4080015003.68
Cambridgeshire South Cambridgeshire3810014003.67
Nottinghamshire Rushcliffe245009003.67
All North West UA Cheshire East UA8200030003.66
Northern Ireland Mid and East Antrim192007003.65
West Sussex Horsham3570013003.64
Lincolnshire West Lindsey165006003.64
Hampshire Test Valley2750010003.64
Buckinghamshire Chiltern3030011003.63
Lancashire Wyre193007003.63
Derbyshire High Peak166006003.61
Leicestershire North West Leicestershire166006003.61
All North East UA Northumberland UA5260019003.61
Somerset Mendip2770010003.61
Derbyshire Amber Valley195007003.59
Norfolk North Norfolk223008003.59
East Sussex Rother223008003.59
Lincolnshire North Kesteven196007003.57
Staffordshire South Staffordshire196007003.57
Norfolk Broadland252009003.57
East Sussex Wealden4200015003.57
West Sussex Chichester3360012003.57
Scotland Stirling168006003.57
Gloucestershire Forest of Dean169006003.55
All South West UA North Somerset UA4230015003.55
Wales Gwynedd226008003.54
Wales Monmouthshire198007003.54
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
Warwickshire Stratford-on-Avon3410012003.52
Somerset South Somerset3410012003.52
All South West UA Bath and North East Somerset UA3980014003.52
Scotland Scottish Borders228008003.51
Scotland Perth and Kinross2850010003.51
Suffolk Suffolk Coastal2860010003.50
Surrey Waverley3720013003.49
Devon North Devon229008003.49
Hampshire East Hampshire3150011003.49
Oxforshire West Oxfordshire258009003.49
Norfolk South Norfolk2880010003.47
Staffordshire Lichfield202007003.47
Wales Powys3470012003.46
Worcestershire Bromsgrove204007003.43
Suffolk Babergh204007003.43
Gloucestershire Cotswold263009003.42
Northern Ireland Causeway Coast and Glens234008003.42
Wales Conwy205007003.41
Essex Maldon149005003.36
Oxforshire Vale of White Horse3290011003.34
Staffordshire Staffordshire Moorlands180006003.33
Dorset East Dorset211007003.32
All Yorkshire and the Humber UA East Riding of Yorkshire UA6040020003.31
Lincolnshire East Lindsey243008003.29
Devon Teignbridge3050010003.28
North Yorkshire Harrogate3970013003.27
Hampshire Winchester3400011003.24
North Yorkshire Hambleton217007003.23
All West Midlands UA Herefordshire UA4340014003.23
Gloucestershire Stroud279009003.23
Devon East Devon3470011003.17
Leicestershire Harborough221007003.17
Suffolk Mid Suffolk221007003.17
Worcestershire Wychavon286009003.15
Worcestershire Malvern Hills192006003.13
All West Midlands UA Shropshire UA6740021003.12
Wales Pembrokeshire257008003.11
Scotland Dumfries and Galloway258008003.10
Northern Ireland Mid Ulster258008003.10
Devon South Hams260008003.08
Northern Ireland Fermanagh and Omagh229007003.06
Dorset North Dorset165005003.03
Devon Mid Devon201006002.99
Cumbria Carlisle169005002.96
Wales Ceredigion169005002.96
North Yorkshire Scarborough203006002.96
Devon Torridge171005002.92
Derbyshire Derbyshire Dales192005002.60
Dorset West Dorset270007002.59
Cumbria South Lakeland273007002.56
Cumbria Allerdale17500<500Unknown
Cumbria Barrow-in-Furness7300<500Unknown
Cumbria Copeland9100<500Unknown
Cumbria Eden15200<500Unknown
Lancashire Hyndburn9100<500Unknown
Lancashire Ribble Valley14500<500Unknown
North Yorkshire Craven14400<500Unknown
North Yorkshire Richmondshire11400<500Unknown
North Yorkshire Ryedale14400<500Unknown
Derbyshire Bolsover9100<500Unknown
Leicestershire Melton10400<500Unknown
Leicestershire Oadby and Wigston8900<500Unknown
Lincolnshire Boston9000<500Unknown
All East Midlands UA Rutland UA9600<500Unknown
Staffordshire Tamworth8600<500Unknown
Warwickshire North Warwickshire10300<500Unknown
West Sussex Adur11800<500Unknown
Devon West Devon15400<500Unknown
Dorset Christchurch10200<500Unknown
Dorset Purbeck10200<500Unknown
Dorset Weymouth and Portland11200<500Unknown
Somerset West Somerset8900<500Unknown
All South West UA Isles of Scilly UA800<500Unknown
Wales Isle of Anglesey11800<500Unknown
Wales Merthyr Tydfil5900<500Unknown
Wales Blaenau Gwent5600<500Unknown
Scotland Clackmannanshire5600<500Unknown
Scotland West Dunbartonshire7400<500Unknown
Scotland Inverclyde7400<500Unknown
Scotland Orkney Islands5600<500Unknown
Scotland Shetland Islands4400<500Unknown
Scotland Comhairle nan Eilean Siar4300<500Unknown

In the table above you can sort and search the data to find your own local authority or organise by county.

Notes on the Data

HMRC provided the data to the nearest 100, which means totals don’t always match perfectly with overall number of returns submitted late.

Where fewer than 500 returns were submitted late (largely in authorities where few returns are issued) HMRC simply provided “<500” as the response there. In these cases, we’re unable to fairly calculate the percentage of tax returns filed late and we left these as unknown.

The data pertains to tax returns that relate to the tax year 2017/18, which ended in April 2018 where the tax return was due by 31st January 2019.

Data was provided to us by HMCR in February 2020.

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