HMRC has announced that taxpayers still using paper returns will no longer routinely do so. This is part of the efforts to encourage the use of online services and reduce the unnecessary use of paper.
Last year, HMRC automatically sent out more than 500,000 blank paper tax returns, while more than 10.4 million taxpayers filed their returns online. This means that approximately 6% of taxpayers submitted a paper return and that figure continues to reduce each year as the take-up of online services grows.
From next month, instead of automatically receiving a paper return, taxpayers who have filed on paper will receive a short notice to file. This notice to file will tell taxpayers that HMRC intends to communicate with them digitally and will also provide them with information about managing their tax affairs through their Personal Tax Accounts.
If taxpayers still wish to continue using paper returns, they can download a blank version or call HMRC to request one. Where HMRC is able to identify taxpayers, whose personal circumstances mean they cannot file online, they will continue to receive a blank paper return.
The use of paper will also be further reduced when HMRC stops providing more than three million blank P45s and 11 million P60s in April. The vast majority of employers already use their existing HMRC, free or commercial software to produce P45s and P60s for their employees.