HMRC to stop automatically sending paper Self-Assessment returns

HMRC has announced that self-assessment taxpayers will no longer automatically receive paper returns.  This is part of HMRC’s wider efforts to encourage taxpayers to move to online services and cut the use of paper forms (as previously reported for forms P45 and P60).

From April, instead of automatically receiving a paper return, taxpayers who have filed on paper in the past will now receive a short notice to file. If they still wish to file on paper they will need to download a blank version of the return or call HMRC to request one.

The notice to file will tell taxpayers that HMRC intend to communicate with them digitally and provide them with information about managing their tax affairs through their Personal Tax Account. As taxpayers visit their Personal Tax Account, HMRC will request their agreement to communicate digitally by default and, if they consent, subsequent communication, including statutory notices will be provided digitally.  

HMRC have however indicated that, where they can identify taxpayers whose personal circumstances mean they cannot file online, they will continue to receive a blank paper return.

More information can be found in the HMRC press release announcing this measure

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