HMRC is issuing paper copies of simple assessments including some that have already been paid. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty explains the issue.

Between May 2021 and July 2022, taxpayers who had opted for paperless communications from HMRC received their simple assessments (PA302) digitally via their personal tax account.  

It was not clear that this digital notification satisfied the legislative requirements. This has now been rectified. From 6 April 2023, simple assessments can be served digitally.  

While the legislation was being updated, HMRC suspended issuing simple assessments digitally and reverted to issuing them in paper format. 

HMRC has recently re-served those simple assessments that were issued digitally, in paper format. This is to put it beyond doubt that the assessment has been validly served. 

These duplicate assessments are confusing taxpayers who had already settled the original digital simple assessment. The paper assessment shows the full amount of the simple assessment regardless of whether it has been paid, with only a footnote saying: “any payments made have not been included in the above calculation”.  

The Tax Faculty understands that HMRC contact centre staff do not have access to the simple assessment payment system and must hand off calls querying payment of the re-issued simple assessments to a back-office team. 

Please send any feedback on simple assessments to Caroline Miskin. 

ICAEW’s Tax Faculty is recognised internationally as a leading authority and source of expertise on taxation. The faculty is the voice of tax for ICAEW, responsible for all submissions to the tax authorities. Join the Faculty for expert guidance and support enabling you to provide the best advice on tax to your clients or business.

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