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Simple Assessment to start in September

Mercia Blog Simple Assessment Tax Returns

From September 2017 HMRC will remove the need for some customers to complete a tax return, starting with two groups.

The two groups are:

  • new state pensioners with income more than the personal tax allowance in 2016/17; and
  • PAYE customers who have underpaid tax and who cannot have that tax collected through their tax code.

All existing state pensioners who complete a tax return because their state pension is more than their personal allowance will be removed from self-assessment in 2018/19. This may mean that some clients are dropped out of self-assessment and issued an assessment instead based on the information which HMRC hold. Of course, whether the assessment is actually correct will be a different matter.

HMRC state:

HMRC will write to customers from September 2017 with a tax calculation. This could be a P800 or a Simple Assessment letter (PA302).

‘The letter will show their:

  • income from pay
  • pensions
  • state benefits
  • savings interest
  • employee benefits

Customers just need to check the information is correct, and if it is they can pay their bill online or by cheque by the deadline in the letter.

If a customer thinks any information is incorrect they have 60 days to contact HMRC. For instance, if they think amounts used are wrong or HMRC didn’t act on information received.

Should customers miss the deadline they should contact HMRC to discuss their circumstances or financial penalties will be applied in line with current policy.

If customers are not happy with the follow-up response from HMRC, they have 30 days to appeal against the decision.’

For more information, please refer to the policy paper published by HMRC.

Written by Mark Morton

Mark Morton

Mark joined HMRC in 1989 and undertook their full training exams. In 1996 he was made Deputy District Inspector for the Derby area and had detailed experience of all types of Revenue enquiries.

Mark joined Mercia as an experienced lecturer and now provides a wide variety of CPD training around the country. He is also a well known contributor to professional publications and provides technical consultancy to the accountancy profession.


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  1. Thanks Mark for writing a good post regarding tax return and it will be really helpful for people including the pensioners. I appreciate your writing to let people know about new updates from HMRC.

    Thanks for sharing