HMRC have requested that employers, and their payroll teams, promote Personal Tax Accounts (PTAs) to their employees. Employees can update their address and personal details in this way. One benefit to employers is that this may reduce the number of employee enquiries.
HMRC introduced PTAs over a year ago, and are aiming for a digital service for people to take care of their tax in the same way as they manage their banking. Employees can go online, at a time that suits them, and have access to information such as personal information, tax credits, apply for marriage allowance, check details on company cars and other benefits, complete Self Assessment, review National Insurance contributions, review their state pension etc
It is important that employees update their address with HMRC. Where an employee lives will have an impact on the Apprenticeship Levy and how funds are allocated, and the Scottish Rate of Income Tax threshold is going to move away from the rest of the UK this April.
Reduced time spent on HMRC telephone support services
HMRC are also hoping the PTAs are going to help with enabling employees to understand their tax position, as well as updating any change in circumstance and accessing support without the need for a phone call. The HMRC telephone support services do not have the best reputation for speed and efficiency, so if PTAs can help with this function it will be a worthwhile exercise.
The HMRC app
There is also the ‘HMRC app’ for smart phones, giving access to personal tax information. The app is available for Apple, Android and Windows.
How to Access the PTA
To activate a PTA for the first time you will need:
- National Insurance Number
- A payslip, P60 or passport
- A phone for a 2 stage security access code
It is a little long winded but not too difficult to do, and within ten to fifteen minutes you would have access to your Personal Tax Account. The two stage verification appears to be required, but as you are unlikely to be signing in very frequently probably will not be too onerous.
So employers should be promoting the Personal Tax Accounts to their employees, and signing up themselves.