As the Making Tax Digital initiative demonstrated, HMRC are keen to move an increasing amount of their services online. Although the Personal Tax Account (PTA) has been in existence since 2015, it is largely unheard of except by those who use it to file their tax returns online. However, the PTA is not just for the self-employed; individuals can also find elements of the service extremely useful.
So what exactly is the PTA? Essentially, it is a government portal which allows you to see an overview of your tax affairs as well as the ability to manage and apply for certain tax benefits and rebates. The idea is that this portal will make it easier for taxpayers to view the information which is important to them at any time. Of course by transitioning to an online self-service facility, HMRC also stands to benefit through a significant reduction in the amount of phone calls, letters, and other forms of correspondence being received.
What information can I view through my personal tax account?
While the government has promised that the service offering will be expanded in time, currently the following actions are able to be completed through the online PTA:
- check your income tax estimate and tax codes for the current year
- check for any overpayment or underpayment of tax in previous tax years
- complete, submit, and view a personal tax return
- claim a tax refund
- manage and renew your tax credits
- check your State Pension projection
- track tax forms that you have submitted online
- check or update your Marriage Allowance
- notify HMRC about a change of address
- view or update benefits you get from work (e.g. a company car or medical insurance)
- find your National Insurance number
- change your communication preferences by requesting to go paperless
How do I set up my personal tax account?
Signing up to register your PTA is generally a quick and easy process, although the self-employed will have a head start over those who have never submitted an online tax return. This is because in order to register for the PTA, you will need to have a Government Gateway ID; this is the same ID self-employed individuals already use to submit their Self Assessment. Those without a Government Gateway ID can register for one here. You may also be able to register by using the GOV.UK Verify service instead. During this registration process it is useful to have a payslip or P60 handy, as you will be asked to confirm your National Insurance number along with a number of additional pieces of personal information.
If you already have a Government Gateway ID, you will be asked to sign in using your 12 digit user ID, along with your password. You will then be asked how you want to receive a unique access code. Once you have done this, you will be able to start using your PTA.
How Handpicked Accountants can help
If you are a sole trader, company director, or an individual who needs help with their tax affairs, employing the services of an accountant can make the whole process of complying with their HMRC obligations much easier and much less stressful. Handpicked Accountants can connect you with a trusted, reliable accountant in your local area. All our accountants are individually selected by our panel of experts, with each being chosen for their superior skills, knowledge, experience, and commitment to client care. Start your search for the perfect accountant today by using our search tool, or alternatively call our team of expert advisers on 0800 063 9258.