What is a Personal Tax Account and how could it help you?

When was the last time you logged into your Personal Tax Account? What – you’ve never logged in? Haven’t the foggiest what your “Personal Tax Account” is, let alone how it could help you? You’re not…

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When was the last time you logged into your Personal Tax Account? What – you’ve never logged in? Haven’t the foggiest what your “Personal Tax Account” is, let alone how it could help you? You’re not alone.

A few years ago, research commissioned by the Post Office concluded that nearly half of UK workers had never accessed HMRC’s Personal Tax Account service, despite almost a third wanting “better understanding and management of their personal tax matters”.

What is a Personal Tax Account?

Personal Tax Account was launched in December 2015 to “revolutionise the way customers interact with HMRC” and make it easier for people to review and manage their tax affairs online. Available via online government portal GOV.UK, Personal Tax Account is a digital service that allows people to access and manage their tax information.

According to HMRC: “Your Personal Tax Account is a safe and secure place for you to check, update and manage your details with HMRC, online, any time. It brings together all your tax information in one place. Whether you need to make changes to the tax you pay or have questions about when your next Tax Credit payment date is, your Personal Tax Account can help. Personal Tax Account gives you a quicker and easier way to update us day or night, instead of having to call or write.”

What can you use your Personal Tax Account for?

Whether you’re self-employed, employed or earn additional income from other sources (eg renting out a property), you can use your Personal Tax Account to:

  • fill in, send and view a personal tax return
  • claim a tax refund (eg if you overpaid tax via PAYE)
  • track tax forms you’ve submitted online
  • tell HMRC if you’ve changed your name or address
  • find your National Insurance number
  • see an estimate of how much Income Tax you’ll pay
  • find out/amend your Income Tax tax code
  • see how much you’ve earned from employment in the past five years and how much Income Tax and National Insurance you’ve paid during the period
  • get your State Pension forecast
  • renew, check and manage your Tax Credits
  • check or update your Marriage Allowance
  • report changes that affect any Child Benefit you receive
  • find out about or update any employment benefits you receive such as a company car.

How to set up and access your Personal Tax Account

If you’ve previously registered for Self Assessment online, you’ll already have a Personal Tax Account. You’ll need your Government Gateway user ID and password to log in (GOV.UK provides guidance on what to do if you don’t know your user ID or password).

Alternatively, you can sign in to access your Personal Tax Account by using GOV.UK Verify (you’ll have an account if you’ve previously proved your identity with either Digidentity or Post Office).

If neither of the above apply, you’ll need to create an account for one or the other. To create a Government Gateway account you’ll need your National Insurance number or UK address and a recent payslip, P60 or a valid UK passport. GOV.UK Verify “works best if you’re over 20 years old”. You’ll need a UK address, mobile phone and at least one valid photo ID.

Accessing your Personal Tax Account could enable you to find out important information and better manage your personal tax affairs. You may even be able to pay less tax or reclaim tax that you’ve overpaid, so it could certainly be worth the effort, especially as it’s so quick and easy to set up your Personal Tax Account.

 

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