A paperless future for online self-assessment

HMRC have proposed for a paperless self-assessment (SA) communication process for those that file their tax returns online.  The plan is for the online taxpayers to receive their official communications electronically.

A pilot phase of the proposed new system is set to be launched in the next tax year.  However,  amendments to the Income and Corporation Taxes (Electronic Communications) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/282), will be required to give HMRC the authority to deliver the communications electronically.

This process will also require rule changes as HMRC will need to obtain taxpayers’ consent for electronic delivery and the use of the self-assessment online service.  In addition, registered SA taxpayers will need to provide a valid email address and telephone number to opt in to receive the communications.

It is expected that the following communications will be sent electronically:

  • 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 de-registering for self-assessment

There are proposals for the system to expand agents’ online self-assessment, enabling them to use third party software to view relevant communications online sent to their clients by HMRC.

To view the consultation document, please click here.

If you have any questions on how this will affect you or would like to apply for the pilot scheme contact our Tax Team on 0161 249 5040