HMRC introduced the Personal Tax Account system back in 2015 - but have you ever used yours? 

What is a personal tax account? I’ve never heard of one. 

You are forgiven if you haven’t heard of a Personal Tax Account before. They were only introduced by HMRC four years ago in 2015, and haven’t really been widely publicised since then. As of July 2018, around 15 million people have accessed their Personal Tax Account, which is a record number, but still only accounts for around 44% of the UK working population. 
 
At present, the Personal Tax Account system has over 30 services available, including claiming tax refunds, checking income tax estimates, checking your state pension and filling in your personal tax return. By 2020, HMRC has said that the system should be fully functional, so that it includes even more services such as all your liabilities and payments in one place. 

What can I actually do with my Personal Tax Account? 

The list is constantly growing and expanding, with 2020 set to be the year it is fully functional, but here are some of the most useful things you can currently do with your Personal Tax Account: 
Check your income tax code 
Check your income tax estimate 
Claim a tax refund 
Pay overdue tax 
Check or update your marriage allowance 
View the latest update of the value of your state pension 
View your self-assessment tax calculation, which can be helpful when applying for credit 
Add a family member or other trusted person to manage your account on your behalf 
Advise HMRC of a change of address 
Track the progress of any forms you have submitted 
It’s important to check for errors, and if there is anything in the wrong place, or some of your details are incorrect, you can change it yourself. 
 
As mentioned, more features will be available next year, but for now it’s worth signing up just to benefit from having everything in one place! 

What benefit is there from setting up a Personal Tax Account? 

The Personal Tax Account system is still in BETA mode, i.e. it is still partly in testing mode, and not all the features will be accessible yet, or they are not fully functional. However it’s still worth signing up, because, as mentioned, more services will be added, with the system aiming to be fully functional by 2020. 
 
Using the system will make it easier for you to update HMRC about changes to your circumstances, for example a change of address, getting married or having a baby. You will also be able to keep track of child tax credits if you are a parent, or check or update the benefits you get from your work such as company car details, or medical insurance. 
 
The main big benefit, though, is that everything regarding your tax affairs will be online in one place, meaning it’s more accessible for everyone. It’s a great idea to regularly login to your Personal Tax Account, to get into the habit of checking your details and reviewing your tax affairs. HMRC are no strangers to making errors, and the sooner these errors are found, the quicker they can be resolved. You can also go paperless, meaning no more letters – just text messages or emails – so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too! 

How do I set up a Personal Tax Account? 

Setting up a Personal Tax Account only takes ten minutes; you just need your National Insurance number, and either your passport or a recent P60. You’ll also need a Government Gateway account – you may already have one, but if not, it only takes a few minutes to sign up to one. 
 
To set up your Personal Tax Account, click here
 
If you’d like help setting up your Personal Tax Account, we can help you. Just get in touch, and we can take the hassle out of your hands! 
 
 
 
 
 
Written by: 
 
Nicola J Sorrell - 
Effective Accounting 
 
Founder | Xero Champion | IR35 Expert 
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