HMRC to stop sending automatic paper returns for self assessment

17 Mar 2020

HMRC is stepping up its efforts to encourage digital returns by no longer sending automatic paper returns to self assessment taxpayers.

The tax authority says this measure is part of efforts to encourage filers to take advantage of the online service and cut the unnecessary use of paper.

Last year, 94% of HMRC's customers filed their return online, and HMRC recently saw a 110% increase in customers registering to communicate digitally. However, HMRC also automatically sent out more than 500,000 returns during the same period.

Taxpayers will still be able to file a paper return if they choose but HMRC will encourage those who are able to file online to do so.

Commenting on the change, 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.'

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