TT248: The death of paper correspondence from HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”)

August 18, 2016

July and August are normally quiet months in terms of tax announcements. This is partly due to the Parliamentary break as well as the holiday season. However, there have been some very interesting announcements from HMRC in regards to their procedures which forms part of their wider aim to become the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world.

End of year reconciliation letter – tax refunds

For individuals with relatively ‘straight forward’ tax affairs, HMRC reconciles their income with the tax paid. If the individual has overpaid tax, this is normally repaid following the issue of a reconciliation letter known as a P800.

HMRC will encourage individuals that are due a refund to use their Personal Tax Account. The Personal Tax Account is HMRC’s digital platform designed for taxpayers to manage their UK tax affairs.

Taxpayers that have overpaid tax will be invited to submit their bank details through their Personal Tax Account. They will then receive their repayment direct to their bank account within five days.

Taxpayers that are due a repayment but takes no action within 45 days, HMRC will automatically post a payable order to them.

Corporation Tax Correspondence

HMRC will cease to issue many corporation tax paper notices and reminders to companies from 15 August 2016. This is based on the fact that the information can be found on the corporation tax online service.

Some of the relevant letters and notifications that will be no longer be issued to companies include the following:

  • Return reminder – this will only apply if company does not have an accountant registered as their agent with HMRC.
  • Acknowledgment that a corporation tax return has been filed.
  • Guidance notes such as Budget updates.

Pay as you earn (PAYE)

HMRC have continued to encourage employers to register online so that they receive email alerts so they are aware of the latest coding changes and important information that is published.

As HMRC continues to work towards their aim to be the most digitally advanced tax authority, it is inevitable that paper correspondence will eventually become a thing of the past.

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