21st century Revenue – HMRC app and new texting service
HMRC’s app was launched a year ago and is gaining in popularity as it is being used to pay self-assessment tax bills. A more recent HMRC innovation is a new service for texting replies to taxpayers who make contact by mobile phone.
Using the app
The HMRC app can be downloaded from either the App Store (Apple devices) or the Google Play Store (Android devices). It is then just a matter of:
- Following the instructions to complete the app settings; and
- Signing in using your Government Gateway (only required for first-time use).
In addition to paying self-assessment tax bills, the HMRC app can be used to claim a refund if too much tax has been paid. Other uses include:
- Tax credits: Changes can be reported, and the annual renewal completed. The app shows the amount of tax credit payments and when they will be made.
- References: You can check your tax code and easily find your national insurance (NI) number and unique taxpayer reference (UTR).
- Update: You can let HMRC know if you change address.
- Tax details: You can get an estimate of tax payable and use HMRC’s tax calculator to work out take-home pay after income tax and national insurance contributions.
Despite some negative reviews, the HMRC app currently has a 4.5 rating on the App Store, and a 4.7 rating on the Google Play Store.
New texting service
Only launched 19 January, HMRC is trialling the sending of text messages to taxpayers who call their helplines about a routine matter that could be better resolved using HMRC’s digital services.
Although some callers will be given the choice of holding for an adviser, other calls will be automatically disconnected after a message explaining a text message has been sent. The message might point towards information on the gov.uk website, which can help with the enquiry, or to the webchat service.
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