Workers could be missing out by not checking personal tax accounts

May 16, 2019
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According to the latest research from the Post Office, just under half (46 per cent) of workers have never checked their personal tax accounts.

In 2015, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduced the Personal Tax Account to try and make it easier for people to view and manage their personal tax affairs online.

The digital account provides a range of important services, including allowing you to check your state pension, submit claims for tax rebates, file tax returns and manage tax credits.

The research found that across the UK as a whole, 25-34-year-olds are the most active group when it comes to using their personal tax accounts, with 43 per cent having accessed their account multiple times, a figure ahead of the national average of 38 per cent.

However, a high proportion of this group are not fully aware of what the HMRC digital account can be used for, with almost a third (32 per cent) falsely believing it can show you where your tax is spent, and one in five (22 per cent) thinking it can be used to complain about the level of tax they pay.

Surprisingly, the least likely to have accessed their accounts are the group of British workers that are approaching retirement, 45-54-year-olds, with over half (54 per cent) never having checked their account. This is despite the fact that the service offers people the opportunity to keep up to date with their state pension contributions.

The research also looked into the main reasons why people chose to access their HMRC personal tax account. The Post Office found that the most popular reason was to check they are paying the right tax (38 per cent) with checking state pension contributions (28 per cent) and to complete a self-assessment tax return (25 per cent) the next most popular reasons.

Martin Edwards, managing director, identity services at Post Office said: “Thousands of workers could be missing out by not taking simple steps such as checking that their pension contributions and tax code are correct.

“It’s vital that we all are able to understand and manage our personal tax affairs – not just the self-employed but also carers and those with second jobs and career ‘gig workers’ too.  Even if you are on a PAYE scheme but have additional benefits such as a bonus or company car, it’s really easy now to stay in control – avoiding any surprises when your annual return is due.”

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