|Registering for self assessment: update
||[Jan. 15th, 2018|12:36 pm]
This morning, all it took was two phone calls, an hour of prodding the HMRC website and a few tears to establish that I don't actually need to do this.
I would feel relieved not to have to fill in a tax return, but since I have done all the work of gathering up the information I would need to do the job, it's a bit of an anti-climax.
Short, though maybe not short enough, explanation: once upon a time, interest on savings was taxed at source, and the bank dealt with the admin. As of the last tax year, the banks now hand over the gross interest, and it is up to the saver to sort out the tax - with the sweetener that the first £1000 is tax-free. I had assumed that I'd need to declare my income from savings, although it would fall within the tax-free limit. It turns out, if I have understood this correctly, that I don't have to fill in a tax form; I do have to tell HMRC about my savings, but I have just done this over the phone to the nice Scot who was explaining this to me.
Things that wind me up about this:
- quite apart from the difficulty of finding out what I do and don't have to do
- that tax-free £1000 is a bonus payment to people like me who are actually quite well off, thank you. I don't hear the government telling people on benefit that the first £1000 doesn't matter.
- Further, the relaxed attitude about not having to fill in a form seems to be passing on the message that income tax is a bit optional.
- If I've got this right. But the whole transaction was carried out over the phone. I have no written record of what happened. (Except this, and you only have my word for this.)
- We have to use the phone, apparently, because e-mail isn't secure. Whereas the phone is...
Oh, well. For what it's worth, something that was hanging over me has been done. Come April, I suppose it will have to be done / not done again. But for now, moving on...
This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.