HMRC Launches New Simple Digital Tax Filing For Expats


Hundreds of expats can expect to receive a letter from HM Revenue and Customs telling them that they have been switched to a new tax collection scheme.

Simple Assessment starts from this month (September 2017).

Simple Assessment removes the need for taxpayers with less complex financial affairs to file a self-assessment return each year.

To start the process, from this month all new state pensioners earning more than the personal allowance of £11,000 in the 2016-17 tax year will automatically have their taxes calculated by Simple Assessment.

They will be joined by salaried workers who have underpaid tax on their earnings but cannot have the money collected through their tax coding.

How Simple Assessment works

The principle is HMRC already captures vast amounts of financial data about taxpayers from banks and government departments. New technology allows the agency to sift the information and calculate the tax due for most taxpayers.

Instead of repeating the exercise by submitting the same data HMRC already has, under Simple Assessment taxpayers only provide information HMRC cannot collect from other sources.

Any taxpayers on Simple Assessment will receive a letter from HMRC either as a Form P800 or PA302 which will show:

  • Income from pay
  • Pension income
  • State benefit payments
  • Interest from savings
  • Any employee benefits
  • Details of any tax due

“Customers just need to check the information is correct, and if it is they can pay their bill online or by cheque by the deadline in the letter,” said an HMRC spokesman.

Personal tax accounts

“If a customer thinks any information is incorrect they have 60 days to contact HMRC. For instance, if they think amounts used are wrong or HMRC didn’t act on information received.

“Should customers miss the deadline they should contact HMRC to discuss their circumstances or financial penalties will be applied in line with current policy.

“If customers are not happy with the follow-up response from HMRC, they have 30 days to appeal against the decision.”

Simple Assessment is part of the HMRC long-term policy of making tax digital.

Expats will need to set-up a personal tax account online to access the features and benefits of Simple Assessment.

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