Newsletter Autumn 2017

Online filing exclusions

The Government would like everyone to submit their tax returns online. However, the HMRC computer software is not flexible enough to accept online tax returns which report very unusual combinations of income, gains and allowances.

Where the software excludes the taxpayer’s circumstances from online reporting, the taxpayer has to submit a paper tax return instead. This year there have been more exclusions from online filing than normal, because new allowances for savings and dividends have created complications in the tax computation which HMRC’s computer can’t cope with.

HMRC is planning to fix some of the issues with the personal tax computation for 2016/17, but not all of the exclusions for online filing will be removed. There will be some work arounds for certain situations, such as entering a gain of £0.01 instead of nil, but in other cases a paper tax return will be required.

If we ask you to sign a paper tax return, please understand this is because the HMRC computer won’t accept an online tax return which reports your particular mixture of income.

Where your paper tax return is submitted after 31 October, because it isn’t possible to submit it online, you will have reasonable excuse for the ‘late’ return. We will submit the reasonable excuse form alongside your paper tax return in such circumstances.