Taxpayers are being urged to avoid the last-minute rush to complete 2017-18 Self Assessment tax returns by doing them early.
Last year, more than 11 million people completed a 2016-17 tax return, with 10.7 million doing it on time. More than 4,852,740 people filed in January 2018 (44.8% of the total), and 758,707 did so on deadline day, 31 January.
HMRC provides online support, films and webinars which explain each stage of the filing process, with some also embedded in online tax returns. Help is available too at GOV.UK or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.
More than 180,500 first time buyers in England and Northern Ireland have kept the money they would have spent on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for their new homes, according to HMRC statistics. Read more here.
HMRC is warning that university students are being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details.
The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses (for example, @uc.ac.uk) to avoid detection. Students are being encouraged to check GOV.UK for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.
We have published further information on tax avoidance schemes and the loan charge. Facts, figures and information can be found at GOV.UK on:
- how loan schemes are used to avoid paying Income Tax
- what the loan charge is
- who it affects
- the support we’re giving to people so they can get their tax affairs in order.
From helping people buy their first home to government-funded top-ups for savers, HMRC recently reminded taxpayers how the department can help boost finances. These include Marriage Allowance, Help to Save, Tax-Free Childcare, work-related expenses, and First-Time Buyers Relief.
HMRC has also designed a free resource, Tax Facts, to educate young people on how public money is raised and spent. Find out more here.
HMRC has written to 200,000 businesses to make sure they are aware of Making Tax Digital (MTD), and will be writing to every affected business in the coming weeks to ensure they know about the changes involved and how to prepare.
The vast majority of businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to use MTD to keep their VAT records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from April.
MTD will make it easier for businesses to manage their tax, saving time that can be used to maximise business opportunities, and help foster good financial planning.
HMRC has been piloting the MTD VAT service since April this year, and last month opened the pilot for about half a million businesses. Eligible businesses and agents are being encouraged to join the pilot to test it out.
Read more here.