HMRC will not be changing notice period for newly self-employed

(2 minutes to read)

CIOT: ‘We believe the current Income Tax Self-Assessment registration process works well for most taxpayers, and there is insufficient evidence to change the current statutory deadline’.

HM Revenue & Customs have announced that it will not be changing the time frame of when the self-employed and landlords have to register.

This news has been very much welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), as it was concerned the change would lead to upheaval for taxpayers while offering few benefits.

Currently, a self-employed person or landlord is required to give notice to HMRC of their liability for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) no more than six months after the end of the tax year in which the taxpayer became liable to tax.

The proposed alternatives included reducing the current six-month deadline to two, three or four months, or using the business’s start date to trigger a notification liability.

John Cullinane, CIOT Director of Public Policy, said, “We are pleased that the government agrees there is currently no need for HMRC to inflict what would represent significant upheaval on the newly self-employed and first time landlords with changes to when they have to register to pay income tax.

“We believe the current Income Tax Self-Assessment registration process works well for most taxpayers, and there is insufficient evidence to change the current statutory deadline.”

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The government says it remains committed to identifying new businesses earlier, and that it will further explore other options, including better communication of the current deadlines, innovative ways to educate new and potential future taxpayers earlier, and whether the obligation to notify could be merged with the more familiar filing and payment obligations around the 31st of January.

Cullinane added, “It is right that HMRC should focus on improving its public education work and their own online guidance.

“Even where awareness exists, there can be difficulties in navigating HMRC’s systems, such as creating a Government Gateway account or obtaining a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), and in the meantime a taxpayer cannot file returns or pay the tax they owe. This is where we believe HMRC need to focus their attention and resources so that the registration process can work successfully and quickly for every taxpayer.”

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