The Paperless Office

While there is much talk about Making Tax Digital (MTD) and moving the entire process of keeping accounts and submitting a tax return totally online, HMRC is currently still accepting paper tax returns and around six per cent of people submitted their tax returns this way last year.

However, something has changed this year. In a bid to reduce the unnecessary use of paper, people who prefer a paper return have not been routinely sent a hard copy form to fill-in. In April, anyone who has filed a paper tax return in the past should have received a short notice to file, with a note saying that HMRC intends to communicate with them digitally moving forward.

Now, taxpayers will need to download a blank version of the tax return online or, if they don’t have access to the Internet, they can call HMRC to request one.

“Most customers manage their tax affairs online,” said Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director general for customer services. “It’s easy, secure and available 24 hours a day. Customers can also sign up for email alerts and online messaging. It doesn’t even have to be done all in one go – they can stop, save what they’ve done, and pick up where they left off later.”

She continues: “We are working hard to stop the use of unnecessary resources which have an environmental impact; that’s why we’re reducing the use of paper as much as possible. Digitisation remains an HMRC priority but we’re still committed to giving taxpayers the ability to choose what’s best for them, so those who want to file a paper return can still do so.”

People who want to send a paper tax return have an earlier deadline – of 31 October – than those who are happy and able to file online. This date is now fast approaching and, if you are struggling with hitting that deadline, then give Lewis & Co a call on tel: 01892 513515.

We can help you to get everything in order to either be prepared for the October date or enable you to move over to a digital tax return.