Self-assessment faces paperless future
Self-Assessment (SA) is set to be transferred completely online in a bid to make the process easier for the individual, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced.
The paper to screen transformation will see online filers receive all official communications electronically, and as HMRC received 7.6 million digital SA submissions in 2011/12, which equates to 80.9 per cent of the total number of returns for the year, it appears to be a natural move in keeping with the current trend.
The move coincides with HMRC’s new electronic message initiative to help employers keep up to date with PAYE.
In the next tax year, there will be a launch of the proposed new system under a pilot scheme. It will first require amendments to the Income and Corporation Taxes (Electronic Communications) Regulations 2003, to give the taxman authority to deliver statutory notices and reminders electronically.
Rule changes will also be needed in relation to obtaining taxpayers’ consent for electronic delivery and the use of the SA online service. According to HMRC, registered SA taxpayers will have to provide a valid email address and telephone number when opting in to receive:
- Notice requiring a taxpayer to file a tax return;
- Notice of a correction of a taxpayer’s tax return by HMRC;
- Notices of the opening of an enquiry into a tax return and requiring information or documents as part of an enquiry;
- Notice of the amendment of tax during an enquiry to prevent loss of tax;
- Notice of the completion of an enquiry into a taxpayer’s tax return;
- Notice of the determination of tax by the tax authority where no return has been delivered;
- Notice of amendment of partnership statement where loss of tax discovered;
- Notices of penalties where a return is late or not delivered, on unpaid tax, for failure to comply with an information notice or deliberately obstructing a Revenue officer’s inspection, and for errors in a tax return;
- Self assessment statement available to view online;
- Confirmation of payments and repayments made;
- Reminders to file a tax return and to pay tax due;
- “Exit” message for taxpayers deregistering for Self-Assessment.
A comprehensive guide to Self-Assessment can be accessed here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/introduction.htm