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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has stated from this April it will no longer send out paper returns to self-assessment taxpayers in a bid to encourage them to use the online service and reduce paper waste.

Last year saw HMRC automatically issue more than 500,000 returns, however 94% of self-assessment taxpayers filed their return digitally.

Taxpayers will still be able to file a paper return if they wish, but HMRC will encourage those who have access to a computer to file digitally instead.

People who have previously submitted their tax return on paper will now receive a short notice to file and instructed to download a blank version of the return form or telephone HMRC to ask for one.

In cases, where HMRC has identified taxpayers whose personal circumstances mean they cannot file digitally, they will continue to receive a blank paper return.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services said: “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.”

Paper will also be reduced when HMRC ceases providing more than 3 million blank P45s and 11 million P60s in April, as most employers already use their existing HMRC, free or commercial software to produce P45s and P60s for their employees.

If you require support in switching to digital tax returns, please don’t hesitate to arrange a free initial consultation by calling 01522 699870. Alternatively, you can drop us a line via our online enquiry form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.

Date published 17 Mar 2020 | Last updated 25 Sep 2020

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