Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Apparently, the number of people who chose to fill in their tax return on Christmas Day was up on last year. What's the world coming to?

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 05 Jan 2011
We know some people will go to great lengths to avoid eating sprouts (MT dyed its mum’s blue once - still had to eat them though), but this is just ridiculous: according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs, no fewer than 845 people spent their Christmas Day this year filling out their online tax returns. And the figure has actually gone up, from 620 last year. what's more, a further 2,408 people submitted their forms on Boxing Day. Where's your festive spirit, people?

Now perhaps you're tempted to give these strange coves the benefit of the doubt, and assume that the strain of making awkward conversation with Great Aunt Mabel just got too much. But filling in your online tax return isn’t exactly a spontaneous thing: in order to be able to do it, you need to have registered and received a PIN code by post, which takes a good seven days to arrive (and probably longer, if it's snowing). About our best hope is that they just had their dates mixed up and thought the deadline was the end of December, rather than the end of January (after which they’d incur a £100 fine).

Then again, for some, the lure of number crunching is too much to resist. And even MT is willing to admit that there have been occasions when the idea of retreating to a nice, quiet study to fill in some forms seems positively attractive in comparison to screaming kids, broken toys, family feuds and a turkey that won’t quite fit into the oven.

But come on, folks: you’ve got until the end of this month. Live a little. Have a sprout.

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