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OTS suggests new individual tax account

1st November 2019

HMRC should consider merging personal tax accounts with business tax accounts in the next three years, according to the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS).

The new individual tax account would enable all taxpayers to see information about all their different types of income in one place.

For example, an individual could see self-employment and rental income in new tiles in the individual tax account, alongside other tiles for employment income, savings income and national insurance.

The OTS said that many self-employed people are perplexed when it comes to understanding and complying with their tax obligations.

This issue is increasing in importance as the number of self-employed people is growing, rising from 3.3 million in the year 2000 to 4.96m this year.

Although many self-employed people receive help with reporting tax from agents, HMRC figures show that 46% of them do not have an accountant.

Similarly, around one third of residential landlords who report their income through the self-assessment property income page do not use an accountant.

Kathryn Cairns, chair of the OTS and co-author of the report, said:

"Some of those that are unrepresented struggle with their tax reporting and payment obligations.

"They are unaware of their current tax position during the year and can then find themselves unable to pay the tax they owe when it is due.

"It would be useful for them to gain an up-to-date picture of their tax affairs throughout the year from HMRC, and to be able to make payments toward this."

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