Don’t worry, this is not another cyber-attack story or major breach of confidentiality from our friends at HMRC. They have simply decided to release the information they hold on your personal tax accounts to you – no one else – sorry if I alarmed you!
This is good news and means that you, as an individual, can set up your personal tax account and access all of the records that HMRC hold in regard to your income. There are many advantages to you having this information at your fingertips, not least of which is the fact that you can check if the data that they hold is correct. This could save you all sorts of erroneous tax costs, administrative burdens or conflicts of interest. And it is also much more likely that any changes or amendments will be attended to quickly if you inform HMRC via your personal tax account.
Here are just some of the things that you can do after setting up your personal tax account online (and the list is growing all of the time):
- Check your Income Tax estimate and Tax Code to ensure it is a true representation of your current circumstances
- View a personal tax return so that you can budget for payments or check that the figures are correct
- Claim a tax refund, if your investigations or HMRC themselves have indicated that one is due to you
- Check or update your Marriage Allowance or any other change in your circumstances that might affect your tax code
- Tell HMRC about a change of address as they might not automatically pick this up, and you wouldn’t want any of your sensitive financial information being delivered to the wrong place
- Keep a check or update the benefits that you receive from work: for example, changes in your company car details or medical insurance information
- View the latest information on the value of your state pension and your National Insurance records
- Set up your account so that you can go paperless and start to receive communications by text or email instead of through the post
- View and manage other personal information such as Tax Credits and any Child Benefit payments
- Set up your account so that a family member, friend or other designated person can have full authority to manage your tax affairs on your behalf
- Accurately track the progress of any forms that you have previously submitted and are awaiting a response
- Either view and or print out your Self-Assessment tax calculation (known as an SA302) which will be useful when applying for finance or credit
- Find your unique taxpayer reference (UTR) for your own records or future correspondence
- Make online claims for any employment expenses that you might be due
There are, of course, many practical advantages to having this level of control and understanding of your personal tax account information. Among the most important are the security, personal management and speed of response benefits, but the biggest is probably just having everything all in one place.
If you would like to know more about how to set up your personal tax account with HMRC, or have any questions about the benefits and importance of having this information – please get in touch.