HMRC confirms end of traditional tax return

HMRC has provided more details of the new simple assessment system, designed to end the traditional tax return process, under which taxpayers who used to provide information under self assessment will no longer need to do so, as returns will now be pre-populated with existing data from other sources

From September 2017 this option will apply to two groups. These are new state pensioners with income more than the personal tax allowance in the tax year 2016 to 2017; and PAYE taxpayers who have underpaid tax and who cannot have that tax collected through their tax code.

All existing state pensioners who complete a tax return because their state pension is more than their personal allowance will be removed from self assessment in the tax year 2018 to 2019.

For these groups, rather than filling in a return with lots of information, HMRC will now use data it already holds and calculate what tax is owed. The department says this will streamline the process and reduce the administrative burden.

Taxpayers with more complex tax affairs who continue doing self assessment will only be asked for information needed to assess their tax, benefits and credits. HMRC will complete the rest of the information automatically.

HMRC will start writing to taxpayers from this month with a tax calculation. This could be a P800 or a simple assessment letter (PA302).

The letter will show their income from pay, pensions, state benefits, savings interest, and employee benefits.

Taxpayers should check the information is correct, and if it is they can pay online or by cheque by the deadline in the letter.

Anyone who thinks any information is incorrect has 60 days to contact HMRC.  If they are then not happy with the follow-up response from HMRC, they have 30 days to appeal against the decision.

Issue briefing: Simple Assessment - ending the tax return is here.

Report by Pat Sweet

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