Paper self-assessment returns will no longer be automatically sent out by HMRC. With the aim to encourage online filing and cut paper usage.
Why digital? Why now?
- For the 2018/19 tax year 94% filed their tax return online
- recent 110% increase in customers registering for digital communication,
- HMRC feels this is the next step to reduce unnecessary paper usage.
This year instead of HMRC sending out paper self assessments automatically, taxpayers who previously filed this way will be sent a notice to file. The notice will contain a link to download a blank form if needed and the HMRC number to call and request a paper version.
As personal tax accounts are used, HMRC will by default request consent to digital communication. With the aim being for all statutory notices to be digitally provided.
Angela Macdonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services said:
“Most customers manage their tax affairs online. It’s easy, secure and available 24 hours a day. Customers can also sign up for email alerts and online messaging. It doesn’t even have to be done all in one go – they can stop, save what they’ve done, and pick up where they left off later.2
“We are working hard to stop the use of unnecessary resources which have an environmental impact; that’s why we’re reducing the use of paper as much as possible. “Digitisation remains an HMRC priority but we’re still committed to giving taxpayers the ability to choose what’s best for them, so those who want to file a paper return can still do so.”
Where HMRC can identify taxpayers whose personal circumstances mean they cannot file online, they will continue to receive a blank paper return.