Paperless self-assessment proposed

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced plans to make the online self-assessment (SA) service "a more complete end-to-end digital experience".

In 2011/12, 7.65 million SA returns were submitted online but 75 per cent of communications with those customers were made by print-and-post.

Under the plans, the SA online service will be upgraded to allow users to receive electronic communications from HMRC. If a user opted-in, they would receive a message - by email or SMS - telling them that certain notices, reminders or statements were available to view in their online account.

The consultation on these proposals will run until 27 December 2013 and HMRC said it planned to start trialling the new system early in the 2014/15 tax year.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, 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 vast majority of HMRC's SA customers already file electronically, but only 25 per cent of their dealings with HMRC are online. Paperless SA will allow customers to do it all online."

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