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New online Personal Tax Accounts officially launched by HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has officially launched its new digital Personal Tax Accounts (PTA) system.

The digital resource is intended to be used in a similar way to online banking.

The new online accounts will enable people to view their individual tax information and will provide the option to make payments at any time during the year.

PTAs have been created with the aim of supplying ‘real-time’ overviews of tax affairs and situations.

Taxpayers will also be given the option to discuss tax matters via a virtual assistant or web chat facility.

The system roll-out is currently being phased in for individuals in the self assessment system.

By April 2016, every personal taxpayer is expected to have a PTA, along with the UK’s five million small businesses – two million of these presently use the new arrangement.

A spokesman for HMRC explained: ‘Self assessment for individuals and small businesses (including companies) will work through digital tax accounts, so there will be no need for them to send in annual tax returns.

‘Taxpayers will still have to confirm their information is correct and make sure the right tax is paid.’

The Government believes that the use of digital PTAs should help to stop any tax due or any refunds owed from building up at the end of each tax year, eliminating unwanted surprises for taxpayers.

David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury, stated: ‘Giving customers the ability to manage their tax affairs online is our latest step towards a fully digital tax system’.

More than a million users are expected to have access to their PTAs by mid-December.