Yesterday marked the end of the tax year and the deadline to submit your self-assessment tax return along with any tax you owe. Most accountants will tell you January is traditionally the peak month for tax returns as too many of us leave it until the last minute. But is that all about to change?
Nearly two years ago, the Chancellor announced the transformation of the tax system with the introduction of personal tax accounts. As a result, Personal Tax Accounts are being phased in bringing all individual and business tax information into one place. It’ll make it easier for you to register, file, pay and update your tax information online, at anytime.
Crucially, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will aim to get information from third parties such as banks, building societies, pension income providers and employers reducing or even removing the need to complete tedious forms to report that information. This could spell the end of the Self Assessment tax return for many people. I know a number of my clients will cheer at that news.
Whilst having all of your tax information in one place and being able to see your HMRC record is going to benefit many of us, those who do not have online access or prefer not to use it will be able to appoint a “Trusted Helper” such as an accountant to access your account for you.
What information can I see?
As well as your tax and national insurance records, you’ll be able to see any tax credits and child benefits plus you can check how much State pension you’ll get.
Getting access to your Personal Tax account is really easy. I gained access to my account in a few seconds here: https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account
You’ll need to register first and verify your identity using the Gov.UK Verify service which takes a few minutes longer as it checks official records to prove who you are online. I used my passport but there are other ways of checking your identity.
Having access to your Personal Tax Account will help you keep on top of your tax position, make sure your details up to date and allow you to get important information instantly. Well worth having.
In March 2015, the Chancellor proposed an "end of the tax return" and the transformation of the current tax system with the development of digital tax accounts. As a result, a HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC's) digital service is being set up, which will bring all individual and business tax information into one place, making it easier for you to register, file, pay and update your tax information online, at anytime.