HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has always been at the forefront of embracing technological advancements to make tax-related processes more straightforward for businesses and individuals.
Recently, HMRC has rolled out a series of new online tools aimed at simplifying various tax-related tasks.
Store my National Insurance number
The ability to store your National Insurance (NI) number is a feature that has been introduced to streamline the tax process.
This service allows taxpayers to view their NI confirmation letter online or via the HMRC app, eliminating the need to wait up to 15 days for a physical copy to arrive by post.
You can access this feature through your Personal Tax Account (PTA) or the HMRC smartphone app. Once logged in, you can:
- Generate a PDF copy of your NI letter and save it to your device
- Store a copy of the letter in your digital app wallet, such as Google Wallet or Apple Wallet, for future access without needing to sign into your digital account
- Print or share the letter directly from the platform
To enhance security and protect against privacy breaches, HMRC recommends saving the access details using a security code or pattern set on your device.
If needed, you can still contact HMRC by telephone to request this information.
Check what your tax code means tool
Launched in December 2022 and updated in June 2023, this online tool enables taxpayers to understand the meaning behind their personal tax codes.
You can find your tax code on your payslips, ‘Tax Code Notice’ letters from HMRC, or by logging into your Personal Tax Account.
This tool is especially useful for:
- Quickly verifying the correctness of your tax code, avoiding unexpected tax bills or delays in receiving rebates.
- Explaining the significance of the letters in your tax code
- Providing guidance on what steps to take if you believe your tax code is incorrect.
- For self-employed individuals, residential buy-to-let landlords, or partnerships, it breaks down the tax due on a weekly, four-weekly, monthly, and yearly basis
Check a UK VAT number online
One of the most significant additions to HMRC’s online services is the ‘Check a UK VAT number’ tool.
This service allows businesses to verify the VAT numbers of other UK-based companies instantly.
Before this tool was available, businesses had to go through a cumbersome process to validate VAT numbers, which often led to delays and complications.
With just a few clicks, you can ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate business, thereby reducing the risk of fraud.
Pay your Self Assessment bill
Paying your Self Assessment tax bill has never been easier, thanks to HMRC’s new online payment service.
This tool is particularly beneficial for self-employed individuals and small business owners who often find the process of paying their tax bills to be time-consuming.
With this service, you can make payments directly through the HMRC portal, eliminating the need for third-party payment services.
This not only saves time but also ensures that your payments are secure.
It is important to note that the deadline for registering for Self Assessment online is 5 October 2023.
Get a copy of your VAT certificate
Another noteworthy service is the VAT certificate tool. Previously, getting a copy of your VAT certificate was a lengthy process that required you to contact HMRC directly.
Now, you can download a copy of your VAT certificate directly from the HMRC website.
This is incredibly convenient for businesses that need quick access to their VAT certificates for compliance or auditing purposes.
The primary advantage of these tools is the efficiency they bring to tax-related tasks. Businesses and individuals can now complete these tasks in a fraction of the time it would have taken using traditional methods.
Security is a significant concern when it comes to financial transactions.
HMRC’s new online services are built with strong security measures to ensure that your data and payments are secure.
The services are accessible 24/7, allowing you to complete your tax-related tasks at your convenience. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that operate outside regular working hours.
As HMRC continues to innovate, we can expect even more user-friendly services in the future, making the process of managing taxes less daunting for everyone.
If you would like more information about how these online tools can help you, please contact us.