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UK self assessment forms

More than 12 million taxpayers file self-assessment tax returns, but less than 3% do so using a paper return.

HMRC stopped sending out paper tax returns three years ago, with any taxpayer wishing to file by paper required to download and print a blank version of the form. The preference is for all taxpayers to file online.

HMRC has now announced that paper self-assessment tax returns will not be available to download and print for the 2022/23 tax year. Now almost all taxpayers will need to file online either through the HMRC portal or with commercial tax return preparation software, such as that used by TAP.

Almost all clients of TAP have been filing online for many years. Filing online has two advantages:

  • Not having to use the postal system when a return might be lost; HMRC will sometimes deny having received a mailed return even when there is a record of delivery. Paper returns also take a long time for HMRC to process.
  • An additional three months to file each year – the online filing deadline being 31 January following the tax year, rather than 31 October.

Capital gains tax (CGT) paper returns

Going somewhat in the opposite direction, HMRC has made a downloadable version of its CGT UK property return available on a four-month trial basis. The intention is that the downloadable form can be used by those taxpayers who cannot report and pay tax using the online service. In our experience, particularly for non-UK residents, the filing of paper returns in this instance can be simpler and easier.

If you need help with your self-assessment tax return or with your property related capital gains tax returns, please contact us.