• 07 Jun 2017

HMRC often asks pensioners to complete a tax return if their state pension is not covered by their personal allowance, which means that a small amount of tax is due for the year.

Completing the tax return can be stressful for the taxpayer and it appears to be unnecessary, as HMRC should already know the amount of their state pension. However, until now the law required the taxpayer to self assess the tax due by completing a tax return.

Now HMRC has the power to assess small amounts of tax due, using a procedure called simple assessment. They have started to issue simple assessments (tax demands) to pensioners who have a small tax liability in respect of their state pension and who had no other income in 2016-17. If this reflects your tax position, look out for a letter from HMRC containing a tax computation.

You may have already received a letter in April asking you to complete a tax return for the year to 5 April 2017. You should wait until June, to see if you receive a second letter from HMRC which tells you not to complete a tax return after all.

If you have any doubts about letters from HMRC, please forward them to us. HMRC will not ring you to demand tax or send you emails, so any such form of communication is likely to be from scammers trying to steal your bank details.

Paper tax return
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