HMRC’s plans to go paperless
HMRC states that there are over 10 million Self Assessment taxpayers, most of whom choose to file tax returns online. However, little of their communication with HMRC can be delivered online at the moment. As an example, where a return is filed online, HMRC replies by paper.
Accordingly, HMRC proposes that people registered to use its online Self Assessment service will be offered the opportunity to consent to HMRC communicating with them electronically rather than by paper.
Taxpayers who opt in to the new service will be sent a message by HMRC informing them information has been delivered to their secure mailbox and is available to view via their online account. They can then log in to their online account and read the content. Statutory notices and reminders made available to customers in this way will have the same legal validity as paper. HMRC has stated that, as far as possible, taxpayers will be able to respond electronically.
The initial plans for electronic delivery are:
- Statutory notices – tax returns, enquiries, determinations and assessments
- Statutory notices – penalties
- Reminders and other tax related communications.
It is not envisaged that all of the products will be available at the same time; rather a staged approach to implementation is planned.
Date: 15th January, 2014
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