Pensioners outnumber young people for filing self assessment tax returns

February 10, 2023

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.

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