HMRC launches digital Personal Tax Accounts
Written on 15 December 2015
HMRC has launched digital Personal Tax Accounts this week. It says by April 2016 every individual taxpayer will have access to their own secure tax account which will work like an online bank account and let them interact with HMRC digitally.
For now you’ll just be able to use your Personal Tax Account (PTA) to get a joined-up view of the tax you pay and benefits you receive, update your tax details in real time and contact HMRC through webchat and the virtual assistant.
But more features will be rolled out gradually so that by 2020 you’ll be able to register, file, pay and update your information at any time of the day or night and at any point in the year to suit you. For the vast majority this will do away with the need to submit a tax return.
Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax at HMRC says the launch of PTAs is a ground breaking development for HMRC and its customers.
“We’ll be developing the PTA further so it becomes the one place to go for all our customers to do business with HMRC,” she said.
How Personal Tax Accounts will work
As more services are added, your PTA will give you a complete picture of what you owe and your entitlements in one place. So instead of having to deal with different parts of HMRC for Income Tax, National Insurance and Child Benefit, for instance, you’ll get a single, personalised view of your overall tax position.
Having a digital account will also mean you’ll be able to see how much tax you owe and pay it without having to complete a self-assessment form first. And you’ll be able to set an overpayment of one tax against the underpayment of another.
HMRC will automatically gather information from your employer, bank and building society and government departments and add this to your tax account so you won’t have to supply that information. And you’ll be able to see the information that HMRC holds and check your details are complete and correct at any time.
Of course, you’ll still be responsible for telling HMRC about anything else which may affect how much tax you should pay and for making sure your tax bills are right. But HMRC says digital accounts will make this easier, quicker and simpler to do.
You’ll be able to access advice and support through webchat and secure messaging, says HMRC. And your account will prompt you when it’s time to do something.
Under the new system businesses, including the self-employed and landlords, will have to update HMRC every quarter where this activity is their main source of income or where it’s their secondary source of income above £10,000 and their main income is from employment or a pension. This will apply from April 2018.