37 comments

  1. Philip

    I work for several people who have special needs as a Personal Assistant but they all have different Tax Codes for me and it is very confusing. I can not find anywhere to go to correct the situation and make sure I a) pay the correct Tax but also b) that I do not pay too much. Can someone direct me to find the correct solution and what to advise the many different Payroll companies that pay me?

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    • Becci Helm - Communications Team

      Hi Phillip
      I'm sorry but we can't answer personal tax queries on the Blog channel. Please get in contact on Twitter or Facebook (from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm) and our social customer support team will be happy to help.

      Becci

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  2. Will

    I've used this and it has been very useful, particularly in spotting an incorrect change to my tax code early! Thank you.

    Question: When will the information on pensions likely be ready to view?

    Thanks,

    Will

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    • Richard James

      Thanks for letting me know how useful you are finding your personal tax account useful - that’s great news. The digital Check your State Pension service that will provide customers with a new and efficient way to access information about their State Pension and National Insurance records is currently being tested with customers. It'll be available to everyone of working age who lives in the UK from April.

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  3. John Corey

    I was invited by HMRC to participate in the personal tax account test. However as a person in Northern Ireland and do not hold a UK passport and the system does not permit the use of a Northern Ireland Driving licence. I have enquired with your helpline how a person from Northern Ireland can therefore access the online personal tax account facility. The response was that I should go to the HMRC web page and click on Self Assessment. However I do not wish to register for Self assessment - I do not require that service. Can you confirm therefore that the current position is that people from Northern Ireland are not able to access on line their personal tax account details?

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    • David Hanshaw (HMRC Digital Services)

      As you know people in Northern Ireland can have either a UK or Eire (RoI) passport. Currently those with a UK passport can use GOV.UK Verify to prove who they are online so they can use UK government services safely. At the moment though we can’t check Eire passports against records held by the Irish Passport Office and so holders can’t use GOV.UK Verify. Additionally, we can't check Northern Ireland Driving Licences because we don’t have access to the NI DVA database.

      However, GOV.UK Verify is still in public beta (testing) and being improved and expanded all the time so we’re still looking at ways to ensure that as many people as possible across the whole of the UK can use GOV.UK Verify. We're working with the Driver and Vehicle Agency so we can use NI driving licences as a form of evidence; working with certified companies to think about how they can check Eire passports; and talking to the Northern Ireland Government and the certified companies about other possible sources of evidence for people wishing to access services through GOV.UK Verify.

      In common with all departments, HMRC is developing alternative measures to verify people's identity while GOV.UK Verify is being scaled up from beta to live. This includes the Enhanced Government Gateway currently being used for individual Self Assessment customers accessing their Personal Tax Account to file and pay their taxes. This alternative option will be available for every individual to access their Personal Tax Account very soon.

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  4. Lionel Harman

    Up to now SA tax is paid 31st January after the previous April. How will the new digital payment system work

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  5. Anthony

    Hi Richard.
    I have just signed up for the PTA with no problems.
    I, like a lot of self employed people don't like a big hefty tax bill in January or July.
    When is the facility to pay tax on a weekly or monthly basis by direct debit into an account to pay these bills going to be added?
    Or is this not going tobe an option?
    Regards Anthony

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    • Richard James

      Hi Anthony, Thanks for your comment. No decisions have been made on changing payment dates. In December 2015, HMRC published a discussion paper on simplifying payment arrangements for taxpayers. The paper explores moving towards a simpler and more aligned payment system for tax, which would operate closer to real time. HMRC is currently seeking views from a range of stakeholders at a series of consultation events, including consultation on the practical steps that would be involved in any transition to new payment arrangements. For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital.

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  6. James

    If self-employed people are going to be expected to use this system from April (just 4 months time) and they currently use an agent, surely you'll be overwhelmed with issues if it gets to April and agents haven't got a way to deal with their customers affairs? When is agents access expected to roll out and until then, can you assure us we won't have to use The Personal Tax Account?

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    • Richard James

      Personal Tax Accounts (PTA) are available for every individual to access online. Customers can of course choose not to use their digital online account, either by deciding not to go through the initial verification process, or any time after they have done that. But we would encourage all our customers to use their account. We are continuing to develop and add further services to the account making it the easiest way to do business with HMRC. We are committed to ensure that agents can use and access the services and features available to their clients through their digital tax accounts. This work is on-going and we continue to consult with, and involve agents in developing this capability.

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  7. J.W. Sebastian Kraemer

    I find it odd that I have to choose who to verify my identity. I am old enough to trust government agencies and would prefer HMRC to do this task, or buy in the expertise of one firm to do it. In that way HMRC is responsible for the whole process.

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    • David Hanshaw (HMRC Digital Services)

      HMRC uses the GOV.UK Verify service created by Government Digital Services which provides all departments with a way to verify the identity of the customer online. Rather than each government department having to set up their own systems, or having one centralised database for all citizens, this process decentralises the checks by using certified companies that have the means to look at a wide range of information to establish it’s really you. Having more than one certified company, rather than a single supplier, means you can choose who has access to your information, and who you’d like to verify you online. This makes your transactions safer: it’s harder for someone to pretend they’re you. And it makes your information safer: it’s stored in different places so it’s harder for other people to access. It’s important to government that your information is as safe as possible. Working with certified companies is much safer than government controlling the whole process.

      GOV.UK Verify is in public beta (trial) and is being improved and expanded based on customer feedback. ‎This means that some customers, especially those without UK passports or driving licenses, will have issues accessing the system but GOV.UK Verify are working to ensure that they will be able to gain access in the near future. ‎However, in common with all departments, HMRC is developing interim measures to verify people's identity while GOV.UK Verify is being scaled up from beta to live.

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  8. Sarah

    I am self-employed and have been submitting my text return online for many years via your government gateway service. Is this new Personal Tax Account different? In what ways?

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    • Richard James

      You should still continue to submit your tax return online. The new Personal Tax Account will provide a wide range of services individual customers can use to engage with HMRC online at a time that suits them and on a digital device of their choice. At present most of the services in the Personal Tax Account are relevant to employees. They can see the way their allowances are used against their employment and pension income, and they can make changes should their circumstances change. For example a company car user is able to tell us if they change their company car, which will change their benefit and their code. But the Personal Tax Account will also contain services customers other than employees will want to use. Through the Personal Tax Account customers can claim Marriage Allowance, and shortly be able to access the Check your State Pension service to get details of their national insurance contributions and their expected state pension. We're also introducing into the Personal Tax Accounta service to renew Tax Credit claims.

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  9. Brian

    Like everything HMRC do, it looks good on paper but the practicalities are it never works for long. I went through the whole registration process 4 days ago, got to see the data once and now just like Mathew I'm going round in ever decreasing circles.......?

    Where's the Login Page, that would be a good starting point?

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    • Richard James

      I'm very sorry that you've found difficulty in finding the PTA Log in page. You can access it from the GOV.UK web site https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account

      If you still can't get in it may be a technical issue so a please contact the GOV.UK Verify user support team, where an expert can look into it for you. If you send an email to support@gdshelp.zendesk.com someone will get back to you promptly

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  10. Rundeep

    Hi Richard

    How will this service work if I have an agent deadling with my tax return, will my agent be able to view my information via their portal or will they need to log into my account?

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    • Richard

      The Personal Tax Account isn't currently designed for use by agents. We will be improving the service to provide agents access but until then they should not try to access it on behalf of a client. If they log on to submit a client’s return using the client’s credentials this can create security alerts which HMRC staff need to investigate. This can cause delays to clients receiving repayments. The new service won’t change the way agents interact with HMRC for example they can continue to file SA returns using the existing portal service.

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  11. Noel Tarleton

    It seems these accounts will involve quarterly reporting for some categories, such as the self-employed. This is a major change in tax policy. As such, I would expect the proposed change to be consulted to iron out potential unfairness and implementation issues - before any decisions are made (see the government consultation principles). Perhaps you could provide some detail about this.

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    • Richard James

      You are right, we will definitely be consulting on proposed changes. On 14 December 2015 we published a Roadmap and payment discussion paper which set out the proposed way forward for Making Tax Digital, including the new payment arrangements you refer to. We’ll invite ideas particularly around whether the principles of a simpler and more aligned payment system, operating in closer to real time are the right ones for a transformed tax system. We’ll also take on board stakeholder views on the practical steps involved in transitioning to any new payment arrangements and on the impact on customers. Consultation will begin with a series of events with key stakeholders in January and February 2016. If you'd like to join one of the events please email us at makingtaxdigital.mailbox@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

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  12. Matthew

    I've registered all details with The Post Office and received an email to say I've completed their verification. I then select the 'Return to HMRC' button, only to then be returned to the original HMRC page asking me to select a verification supplier. So it's a circular system!

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    • Richard James

      Sorry to hear that you've been having problems trying to access your account. As this would appear to be a technical query, please contact the GOV.UK Verify user support team, where an expert can look into it for you. If you send an email to support@gdshelp.zendesk.com someone will get back to you promptly

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  13. Alison Roden

    Hi Richard.

    What prompts the personal tax account to be created in the first instance? Are they created when the employer first notifies HMRC of a new employee (taxpayer) via the Real Time Information service?

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    • Richard James

      HMRC has automatically created an account for all National Insurance numbers. People just need to be able to verify themselves in order to access their account.

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  14. Leann Griifths

    I no longer live in the UK but am still in the UK tax Self Assessment system as I have several buy to let houses in the UK. Can I register for the Personal Tax Account and could I claim the PAYE refund I am due or do I still have to wait until the end of this financial year due to Self Assessment (as we have loses carried forward from previous years and will have no Buy to Let profit this year)

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    • Richard

      With a UK passport and/or British driving licence you certainly meet the requirements to begin the process of verifying your identity with GOV.UK Verify - but a major part of the process is to match your address with your credit reference file. If that address is abroad, I'm sorry to say that, right now we're not able to verify people with overseas addresses. This is because the data sources aren't available to us for the certified companies to check against.

      However, in common with other government departments, HMRC has developed an alternative way to verify your identity. We’re using an enhanced Government Gateway account for individuals filing their Self Assessment through the Personal Tax Account. Access to the Government Gateway account isn't based on your address. However, the questions we ask to verify your identity are based on your interactions with government and therefore access is dependent on us having enough information. From around February 2016, we're looking to allow all users of the Personal Tax Account to use this alternative route.

      Currently there isn't a facility in PTA through which people can claim a repayment and be repaid through the service. But we are working at introducing one. In April 2016 customers will be able to see whether they have overpaid or underpaid tax, and get their repayment or make a payment. Self Assessment customers with other income will need to submit their tax return to claim any repayment.

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  15. Richard Halsey

    I have tried to sign up my firm (small practice, 500+ clients for Self assessment) three times but not been sent a link to join this. I am concerned and wondering why I'm not being permitted to get involved in something I must adapt to. Why is this?

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    • Richard

      The Personal Tax Account is designed for individual customers and using this link - http://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account - they can set up access to their own account. Personal Tax Accounts are not currently designed for use by agents. We will be improving the service to provide agents access but until then they shouldn't try to access it on behalf of a client. The new service doesn't change the way agents interact with HMRC for example they can continue to file SA returns using the existing portal service. If an agent logs on to submit a client’s return using the client’s credentials this can create security alerts which HMRC staff need to investigate. This can delay clients receiving their repayments.

      HMRC continues to develop online services for agents through Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS). AOSS is being developed with input from agents to ensure that services being developed best meets agents’ needs. Updates on AOSS and digital support for agents will be provided through regular briefings to stakeholders and posts on the Tax Agent Blog.

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  16. Henry PAxton

    Richard, I already have a Government Gateway user ID, can I use this to log onto my Digital Personal tax account?
    Also the web address for the "Annual-tax-summary" needs to be changed on the Annual tax summary letter.

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    • Richard James

      Not directly but if you are registered for Self Assessment as an individual customer (as opposed to an employer, a partnership, or pay VAT, Corporation Tax or Class 2 NICs) and log on using your Government Gateway credentials you’ll be taken to new screens inviting you to set up security to access your Personal Tax Account. We’ll also ask you to select and answer questions on information we already know about you. Once you've added this extra layer of security you’ll have access to all the services in the Personal Tax Account and the option to sign up to a paperless relationship with HMRC.

      The Personal Tax Account web address will be updated on next year's Annual Tax Summary letters. Unfortunately we couldn’t include it this year as it wasn't available when the letters were published.

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  17. M Tickner

    I have just tried to sign up for PTA. I do not have a driving licence or passport. How can I pass verification without this?

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    • Richard James

      GOV.UK Verify, is currently in public beta, which means it’s being tested, improved and expanded based on peoples feedback. ‎It also means that unfortunately it might not work for everybody at this stage. Some people, especially those without UK passports or driving licenses, can’t access the system at the moment.

      GOV.UK Verify is working on introducing new options in 2016 which will allow people without either a passport or driving license to pass verification.

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  18. Andy Readman

    Congratulations on your first blog. I look forward to using the service!

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  19. c evans

    Thats fine Richard but I received my Annual Tax Summary today with a note that I could access my own digital tax account and view my details online, however, the web address given does not appear to be there! So how do I access this wonderful new digital site?

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    • Richard James

      Sorry for any confusion caused. From 30 November the Personal Tax Account (PTA) became available to more people so now you can try it using this link https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/personal-account/start.

      When we designed our Annual Tax Summaries the PTA was still being developed with a limited number of customers. We didn’t have the links to the new service available at the time so we added a link to a 'coming soon' message.

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