The end of the paper Tax Return is nigh!

Personal Tax,

HMRC is writing to 135,000 tax payers who have filed a paper Return to tell them that they need to move online, as the paper Tax Return support service is being reviewed. Last year more than 96% of Self Assessment Tax Returns were filed online, but the decision takes no account of the ability of these taxpayers to do so.

In future, paper Tax Return forms will need to be ordered by phone as they won’t be sent automatically. Filing online is of course quicker, in the main, and more accurate, and there is always a risk of a paper Tax Return form going astray. HMRC also stressed that the further movement away from paper Tax Returns will help the environment.

Can everyone file online now?

No! Some taxpayers file on paper because of IT limitations, where complex tax calculations aren’t actually processed accurately. There are also issues with overlap relief for some tax payers which can lead to underpayment of tax.

Why announce this now?

HMRC are publicising the change now, with seven months until the filing deadline of 31st October for paper Returns.

‘We’re currently writing to around 135,000 customers who submit paper returns to encourage them to complete their return online in the future,’ HMRC said.

‘Our letter will notify these customers that they will no longer receive a paper Self Assessment form automatically and the letter will also include guidance on how to file online.’

What if I can’t file online?

HMRC say that customers who genuinely can’t or choose not to file online can still obtain a paper form, but rather than download one from, they’ll need to call and request one. The number to use is 0300 2003 610, from the 6th April 2023.

Some of our clients ask us to prepare their Personal Tax Returns because they’re worried about the online process, and once we’ve done one year for them, they never look back! With this announcement, that wariness may apply to more people. If you’re affected and would like to talk about us taking the strain for you, please get in touch. It’d be one less thing for you to worry about!

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