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HMRC to stop automatically sending paper tax returns

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16/03/2020
HMRC will stop automatically sending out self-assessment tax returns as part of its paper-saving measures.

The vast majority – 94% – of people file their tax return online but HMRC still automatically sent out more than half a million returns by post last year.

From April, it will no longer do this automatically as part of its bid to cut the unnecessary use of paper.

Taxpayers will still be able to file a paper return and they will be able to download a blank version of the return or call HMRC to request one.

HMRC added that where it can identify the 1-3% of taxpayers who can’t file digitally, they will be provided with a paper return in April 2020.

Otherwise it will send out a short notice to file which includes HMRC’s intention to communicate with taxpayers digitally and provide them with information about managing their tax affairs through an online Personal Tax Account.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “Most customers manage their tax affairs online. 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.

“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.”

HMRC will also stop providing more than three million blank P45s and 11 million P60s in April. The vast majority of employers already use their existing HMRC, free or commercial software to produce P45s and P60s for their employees, it said.

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