HMRC has announced that it will be contacting nearly 135,000 taxpayers who currently file paper self assessment (SA) tax returns to inform them that they will need to phone HMRC to receive paper forms, as the SA forms will no longer be available to download from gov.uk.
This is part of HMRC’s digital by default approach. Those contacted will receive a notice to file a tax return, and if they want to file on paper, they will have to request forms by phone. Those aged 70 or over and visually impaired filers will continue to receive a paper SA return automatically. The move is part of a wider campaign to move more of taxpayers’ interactions with HMRC to digital channels. HMRC hopes this will increase efficiency in the face of continued struggles with service levels. SA returns submitted online have a filing deadline of 31 January following the tax year end, while paper returns normally need to be filed by 31 October following the tax year end.