Public awareness of self-assessment leaps following HMRC's 'Inner Peace' campaign

Public awareness of the need for individuals and small businesses to file tax returns on time has leaped by nearly a third, according to an evaluation of last year's 'Inner Peace' campaign by HMRC.

HMRC helped the public find 'inner peace' by urging people to file self-assessment forms in time
HMRC helped the public find 'inner peace' by urging people to file self-assessment forms in time
Levels of "spontaneous publicity awareness increased significantly for both individuals (52 per cent) and small businesses (40 per cent), and are the highest level seen since the start of the Inner Peace campaign," according to the report, released last week.

"Overall campaign recognition has held steady despite the lower level of spend in 2015/16 and the removal of press ads from the media mix: 63 per cent of Individuals and 58 per cent of Small Businesses said that they recognised at least one of the campaign ads," says the report.

Digital, poster and radio adverts were used in a bid to get Britons to complete their tax returns, but the main sources of awareness for individuals and small businesses "were not linked with the campaign", it states. 

"TV ads and TV programmes were most commonly mentioned as sources of awareness," among individuals and small businesses, despite the HMRC not using TV adverts for "some years".

There have also been "strong increases" in the proportions of small businesses and individuals saying they had taken action, or had taken action sooner than they would have done, due to the campaign. 

"Almost all of those recognising ads from all three media said they had taken earlier action/had taken action," the report said.

More than 800 people took part in the research, which was carried out by GfK Social Research for HMRC and involved in-depth interviews of individuals, small businesses and sole traders.

Awareness levels were measured before and after the 2015/16 self assessment campaign.

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