Around 700,000 homes could face £1000 fines as census deadline looms

The Scottish Government issued the reminder to fill in the form as the May 1 deadline looms. 

Scottish Government urges Scots to complete 2022 census to avoid £1000 fines iStock
Census: Scots have been warned to fill in the form in time to avoid a fine.

Around 700,000 Scottish households are facing fines of up to £1000 if they do not complete their census on time.

The Scottish Government issued the reminder to fill in the form as the deadline of May 1 looms. 

It comes as the National Records for Scotland revealed two million households have completed their census response. 

Letters for the 2022 census were issued to more than 2.7 million households, which represent 5.5 million Scots and cover questions on the type of accommodation people reside in, household relationships, health and employment status. 

New questions for the 2022 census include use of British Sign Language, passports held, previous armed forces history and new voluntary questions on sexual orientation and trans status.

Failure to fill out the form could see Scots face prosecution and a fine of up to £1000. 

Conducted every ten years in Scotland since 1801, the census has only been delayed twice, once in 1941 due to the Second World War and in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Angus Robertson MSP, cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture, has urged Scots to complete their census as their “legal responsibility”.

He said: “It only takes a few minutes to answer questions about yourself, your household, and the place where you live; the information gathered is vital in shaping important services in your community, from the building of new schools and hospitals to improving transport links and understanding health needs.

“We know that there are people who have begun the census online but haven’t completed it, and that others have requested a paper copy but haven’t yet returned it. If this applies to you, please act now and use the support available to ensure we receive your response by the deadline.”

National Records of Scotland chief executive Paul Lowe added: “Thank you to the two million households who have already submitted their response. 

“For anyone that still hasn’t, I would urge you to act now. Help and support to complete your census is available on our website or via our free helpline 0800 030 8308. Paper forms are still available on request for those who need them.” 

For more information and to complete the census online, visit census.gov.scot