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HMRC in "paperless" self assessment drive

29 November 2013

HM Revenue & Customs has opened a consultation on plans for paperless self assessment (SA) tax returns.

Under paperless SA, customers will receive communications from HMRC electronically, rather than by letter.

The vast majority of HMRC's SA customers already file electronically, but only 25% of their dealings with HMRC are online. Paperless SA will allow customers to do it all online.

Customers who choose this option will be sent a message telling them about specific SA products, for example, statutory notices, reminders and statements in their online HMRC account. Specific types of communication will be introduced via paperless SA at the most appropriate time, as part of a staged approach.

Changes to existing tax law are needed to enable this development. The consultation, HMRC Digital Strategy – legislative changes to enable paperless Self Assessment, is seeking views on the proposed changes to legislation.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “HMRC’s Digital Strategy will make processes like SA faster and simpler. It will deliver the tax system for the 21st century that taxpayers expect.”

The deadline for responses is 27 December 2013.

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