More than 63,500 file Self Assessment on first day of tax year and HMRC urges others to follow

More than 63,500 customers filed their 2020/21 tax return online on 6 April, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

And with almost 950,000 online Self Assessment returns received so far this tax year, HMRC is urging others to do the same and file their tax returns early. Each year, thousands of people choose to file early, as soon as one tax year ends and the new one starts.

HMRC has seen a growing trend in early filers. In the last five tax years, the number of customers choosing to file on the first day of the new tax year has almost trebled from 22,885 in 2017 to 63,521 in 2021.

HMRC has today, published information to help customers file early – how to do it, what the benefits are, and what they need to get started.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“There are many advantages to completing your Self Assessment tax return sooner rather than later, not least that if you’re due tax refund you’ll get the money within a few days.

“Our new online guide helps answer many of the questions customers have about Self Assessment. Go to GOV.UK and search ‘file your tax return early’.”

The Self Assessment guide will help customers navigate through the tax return process. Customers do not need to wait to submit their Self Assessment, they can file at a time that suits them and avoid any last-minute rush to meet the deadline on 31 January 2022.

It includes helpful information on:

  • How to get help with your tax return
  • What to do when declaring furlough payments, Self-employed Income Support Scheme grants or other COVID-19 support measures
  • What information you need before you can start your tax return
  • Help with paying your bill, and
  • What to do if you have paid too much tax

HMRC recognises that the pandemic has been a worrying time for Self Assessment customers and is doing all it can to support them accurately file their tax returns and meet their obligations. In addition to the factsheet, guidance and help sheets are available on GOV.UK.

Customers should also be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. They should search ‘self assessment’ on GOV.UK to get the correct link for their Self Assessment tax return online securely and free of charge. They also need to be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, asking for bank or other personal details, threatening arrest or demanding a money transfer. It might be a scam. Anyone who is unsure can use the checklist on GOV.UK to help them decide if the contact they received is a scam.

Visit GOV.UK for more information about Self Assessment

934,501 of online Self Assessment tax returns for 2020/21, as at 17 May 2021

Figures for the number of online Self Assessment filers on 6 April for the last five years:

Date Online returns received (and corresponding tax year)
06/04/2017 22,885 (2016/17)
06/04/2018 36,939 (2017/18)
06/04/2019 35,255 (2018/19)
06/04/2020 96,519 (2019/20)
06/04/2021 63,521 (2020/21)

HMRC’s scams advice: 



  • Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.
  • Don’t trust caller ID on phones. Numbers can be spoofed.



  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOVUK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.



  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599. Report scam phone calls on GOVUK.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud (in Scotland, contact the police on 101).

People can also follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s six essential steps to keep themselves and their businesses secure online by visiting

Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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