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Simple Assessment is a new way of collecting tax that will make life easier for millions of customers who have had to file Self Assessment tax returns in the past.
1. Why HMRC is making the changes
Currently, around 11 million people have to complete a tax return every year to provide HMRC with information about their income. Making more use of existing data, HMRC can now find the information for some of those customers elsewhere without needing them to complete a tax return. This new system is called Simple Assessment.
2. What it means for customers
From September 2017, HMRC will remove the need for some customers to complete a tax return, starting with two groups that won’t need to complete tax returns for the tax year 2016 to 2017:
- new state pensioners whose state pension is more than the personal tax allowance in the tax year 2016 to 2017, and the tax due can’t be collected through their tax code
- PAYE customers who have underpaid tax and who cannot have that tax collected through their tax code
All existing state pensioners receiving state pension over their personal allowance who are already in Self Assessment and have received a notice to file a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2016 to 2017 should complete their return as usual. They will be taken out of Self Assessment for the next tax year, 2017 to 2018, and will receive a Simple Assessment notification instead.
3. How it works
Instead of asking customers to fill in a return with lots of information, HMRC will now use data it already holds to calculate the tax owed.
Customers with more complex tax affairs who continue filing Self Assessment returns will still benefit from a modernised process in the future. This means they will only be asked for information needed to assess their tax, benefits and credits. HMRC will complete the rest of the information automatically.
4. What customers need to do next
HMRC will write to relevant customers, from September 2017, with a tax calculation. This could be a P800 or a Simple Assessment letter (PA302).
The letter will show their:
Customers just need to check that the information is correct, and if it is, they can pay their bill online or by cheque before the deadline in the letter.
If customers miss the deadline, they should contact HMRC to discuss their circumstances, or financial penalties will be applied in line with current policy.
If customers are not happy with the follow-up response from HMRC, they have 30 days to appeal against the decision.
5. To find out more
Read more about HMRC’s plans to transform our services.
To access your personal tax account go to gov.uk/personal-tax-account.
It takes just a few minutes to get started. You’ll need your National Insurance number and a recent payslip, P60 or passport to sign-in for the first time. Join the millions of taxpayers already using their personal tax account, and sign in today.