As the 31 January deadline for submitting the 2014 self assessment tax return passed, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed that the number of taxpayers failing to file their tax returns on time had increased on last year.

Up to 890,000 taxpayers will now face an automatic �100 penalty for failing to submit their returns on time.

However, the number of individuals who managed to submit their returns on time also increased by 210,000.

HMRC received 10.24 million tax returns by midnight on 31 January, with the number of online submissions reaching record levels. Many individuals chose to leave their tax matters until the last minute, with the peak time for submissions falling between 1pm and 2pm on 30 January.

Following the initial automatic penalty, a series of additional penalties will apply for continued failure to complete the return, after three, six and 12 months.

Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax at HMRC commented, ‘If you're one of the minority who missed the deadline, you still need to get your tax return to us as soon as possible, to avoid further penalties and interest mounting up’.

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