Self Assessment set for paperless future

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is considering responses to a consultation on plans for upgrading its Self Assessment (SA) Online service to provide what it calls “a complete end-to-end digital experience for customers”.

The consultation, which ran from 27 November to 27 December, formed part of plans to reduce the level of paper communication received by taxpayers registered to HMRC’s SA Online service by using electronic messages.

The consultation document said: “HMRC has over 10 million Self Assessment customers, the vast majority of whom choose to file their tax return online. However, only 25 per cent of their interactions and communications with HMRC can be delivered online at the moment.

“Paperless Self Assessment will mean registered Self Assessment Online customers can opt to receive appropriate HMRC communications from HMRC electronically rather than receive them via traditional print and post channels.

“Customers who choose this option will be sent a message notifying them that specific Self Assessment products, for example, statutory notices, reminders and statements are available to view in their online HMRC account.  From there customers will, in most cases, be able to complete the transaction online.”

Subject to the legislation being in place HMRC proposes to start trialling the new service early in the 2014-15 tax year.

This consultation document asked for comments on draft legislation necessary to implement the changes.

Link: Consultation document 

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