HMRC Performance - Self-assessment registration update

The ATT and other bodies have been discussions with HMRC regarding performance issues for a number of months now. One of a number of concerns that members have been raising with us is in respect of delays in registering for self-assessment and processing SA1 forms – the obvious concern being the looming self-assessment deadline. We therefore welcome the update below which HMRC have asked us to share with members which includes a reminder of the existing rules when the notice to file is issued by HMRC after 31 October following the relevant tax year.

"Like most service organisations – even those without additional services to deliver like the Government COVID support schemes and Brexit – we’ve spent the past few months recovering and rebalancing our services as society and the economy begins to normalise.

"We are working through the stocks of post that built up over the past year, as we prioritised delivery of the government’s COVID-19 support packages and the UK’s smooth transition from the European Union alongside the essential services that keep the tax system running. We are now beginning to see steady reductions in most of these stocks, and these reductions will continue in the coming months.

"We understand the frustrations of customers and agents who are waiting for us to get to their individual enquiry, and we are sorry that we can’t get to everyone more quickly. In addressing our work queues, we’ve been prioritising our efforts where we can protect livelihoods and put money in the pockets of our customer groups in greatest need.    

"On UTRs…

"We are on track to have cleared all outstanding SA Registration requests next month, in good time for the SA deadline at the end of January.

"Agents can use their agent credentials to complete the online SA1 on behalf of clients through their Government Gateway account, the turnaround for this service is 10 working days.

"If a customer submits their tax return within 3 months and 7 days from the date of the notice to file, they will be not be charged a late filing penalty.

"If a customer failed to notify HMRC of their liability by 5 October, they may be liable to a failure to notify penalty. However, no failure to notify penalty will be charged if they make payment by 31 January.

"On improvements…

"We are working closely with the agent community and their representative bodies to improve some of our delivery methods for the future, making them as effective as we can for agents and individuals alike. As part of this, we are testing developments to our ‘where’s my reply’ tool so agents and customers can get a better idea of when their enquiry will be dealt with, and we are developing digital services to handle P87 and PPI tax claims in future." 

If members continue to have issues or concerns around the registration for self-assessment – or indeed any other aspect of HMRC’s performance – please let us know at atttechincal [at]

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