HMRC began to roll out Simple Assessments in September 2016.
This is part of a plan to remove a few million people from the self-assessment tax return scheme.
Those who fall within the new scheme will no longer be required to complete a self-assessment tax return.
It’s also a part of the Making Tax Digital initiative, which is designed to make better use of the data HMRC already gathers on people.
What is Simple Assessments?
As the name suggests, the scheme is designed to cover those who have the simplest tax affairs; where HMRC already has the information it needs to calculate any tax liability.
In the main, the scheme will apply to pensioners and people whose income is paid via a PAYE scheme, where the information HMRC needs is provided under Real Time Information reporting.
When does it Start?
The first cohort of people falling under the Simple Assessments scheme were in receipt of a state pension for the first time in the 2016/17 tax year.
Those already in receipt of state pension will probably be included in the scheme for the tax year 2017/18.
What do I need to do?
If you receive a Simple Assessment from HMRC you must check it very carefully against your own records. The fact that your tax return is now effectively being done for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep records and take responsibility for making sure things are correct.
If there are errors in the Simple Assessment, you will have 60 days to appeal and HMRC has 30 days to process your appeal.
We suspect these deadlines may need to be revisited once the system is in full swing, but time will tell.
As with all new systems, this is unlikely to be trouble free, at least initially, and we urge you to be vigilant if you find yourself included within the new Simple Assessments regime.
Don’t just accept what the HMRC assessment says, verify it for yourself and if you need any help with that, you know where we are.