By: AJ Chambers | 12 January, 2024

You think tax returns in January are busy? Try Christmas Day!

For many, Christmas Day is a time of festive celebrations, family gatherings, and moments of joy and relaxation. However, amidst the holiday cheer, an unexpected trend has emerged in recent years – the submission of self-assessment tax returns. 

While tax returns are serious, a significant number of individuals chose to spend a portion of their day away from their family and loved ones, in order to attend to business. The inclination to handle tax submissions on Christmas Day might appear puzzling at first glance. However, several factors contribute to this phenomenon. 

More than 25,000 people filed tax returns over the 3-day Christmas period

January deadline looming  

Firstly, the deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns in the UK falls at the end of January. With many people taking time off work during the festive season, some individuals find themselves with a bit of extra time on their hands. This window presents an opportunity to address pending tasks, including the completion and submission of tax returns. 

Furthermore, for individuals who are self-employed or have multiple income streams, managing finances is an ongoing responsibility. Amidst the holiday period, some might find it convenient to utilise available downtime for tax-related activities, ensuring they stay ahead and avoid the last-minute rush as the deadline approaches. 

Over the three-day festive period, 25,769 customers submitted their tax return, an increase compared to the same period last year, with 8,876 filing on Christmas Eve and 12,136 on Boxing Day. The peak time was between 12:00 and 12:59 on Boxing Day, when 1,121 returns were received by HMRC. 

Amidst the holiday period, some used available downtime for tax-related activities, ensuring they stay ahead and avoid the last-minute rush as the deadline approaches 

Technology in taxation 

The advent of technology has also played a significant role in facilitating this trend. With the accessibility of online platforms and digital tools, submitting tax returns has become more convenient and less time-consuming. The ease of access to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services allows individuals to complete their tax obligations from the comfort of their homes, even on holidays. 

A new flexible and mobile world 

While the idea of tackling tax matters on Christmas Day might seem unconventional, it highlights the changing dynamics of how people manage their responsibilities in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. It also underscores the dedication of individuals to stay organised and compliant with tax regulations, even during festive periods. 

Moreover, the trend serves as a reminder of the importance of planning and staying on top of financial obligations. By embracing the convenience of online platforms and using available time effectively, individuals can efficiently manage their tax affairs without disrupting their holiday celebrations. 


The unexpected surge in self-assessment tax submissions on Christmas Day reflects the evolving approach people take toward managing their responsibilities. As technology continues to streamline processes and offer convenience, individuals are embracing the opportunity to address crucial tasks, such as tax returns, even during moments traditionally reserved for celebration and relaxation. 

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