Radio Adverts Are HMRC’s Most Effective Communication Media

HMRC has published research into the effectiveness of their annual self-assessment communications campaign which uses multiple media to make taxpayers aware of their tax return responsibilities.  The radio ad was the most likely to have been recognised; 40% of individuals and 45% of businesses recalled hearing it.

Around six in ten individuals (59%) and businesses (63%) mentioned campaign-related messages, suggesting advertising has been effective in delivering the key messages.  Of these campaign related messages, the filing deadline was the most salient, with one third of individuals (32%) recalling this message, rising to 38% amongst businesses.

The consumer research indicates that advertising is also effectively communicating the payment support available for self assessment customers.  Six in ten recalled that payment support may be available when asked about what the adverts told them.  Post-campaign, a third of individuals and businesses agreed HMRC support those struggling to pay their taxes, with those who recognised the ads more likely to agree.

Whilst over half of HMRC customers knew that HMRC offers time-to-pay, fewer were aware the criteria had been extended to include more customers this year.

For most, the priority of completing their Self Assessment Tax Return remained consistent with how they prioritised in previous years.  However, for a minority, the impact of COVID-19 resulted in them prioritising it differently this year, submitting earlier than usual.


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