Research by a firm of accountants in Hampshire has confirmed what many of us have long suspected – just like Christmas shopping and packing for holidays, men leave it to the last minute.
Latest figures from HWB show men are more likely to put off tackling their self-assessment tax returns than their female counterparts. The tax team at the firm near Southampton dealt with 1,400 self-assessment tax returns on behalf of self-employed business owners and company directors, many of which are entrepreneurs.
HMRC received 10.7 million returns by January 31 and, due to the pandemic, the deadline has been extended to February 28. HWB’s figures show men under the age of 60 are far more likely to leave getting their tax affairs in order until the last moment. While 31% of women had yet to file, more than double the number of men (69%) were still procrastinating.
Tax director Geoff Rhodes said: “Experts have long recognised a trend for men to leave things to the last moment before dealing with them and they say there are several reasons for this.
“Some are procrastinators who compulsively put off important tasks, while others get an adrenaline rush from taking everything to the absolute deadline. By putting things on the back burner until the last moment, experts have observed, men believe they function better and they get a greater sense of satisfaction when the task is completed.
“The vast majority of the returns we deal with are returned well within the usual January 31 deadline. But we have noticed more men than women like to take the process right to the wire – and now our research, while not definite, has confirmed what we have long suspected.”
While the results may not be scientific and the numbers reflect the national picture of more men being entrepreneurs than women, there is a serious element to the findings. (According to Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), there are just 5.4 women entrepreneurs for every 11.1 men).
Rhodes said: “People who wait until the last minute and then rush their returns, may be missing out on government-approved tax relief, especially if they are in receipt of multiple incomes. Having our team on hand to help with your self-assessment tax return offers peace of mind as we are always up to speed with the latest updates and changes.
“We can take the hassle out of completing a return and offer peace of mind.”
If you have completed your recent return and are already thinking about January 31, 2022, take a look at this video for more information on how the HWB team can help to make your returns less taxing.