HMRC's plan to create 'Simple Assessment' has been put on hold according a report to the House of Common's Public Accounts Committee. HMRC has yet to formally make an announcement to this effect.

The Simple Assessment payment facility is also offline until 14 May 2018. 

HMRC originally planned to start sending out Simple Assessment calculations 'SAC' to taxpayers from September 2017: these set out their tax liability without the need for them to submit a self-assessment return.

Simple Assessment is intended to be used for taxpayers with simple affairs, when HMRC believe that they have already received all of the information needed to calculate the taxpayer's liability either from the taxpayer themselves or from third parties.  HMRC can issue one to individuals and trustees.

Simple Assessment will initially apply to the following groups of taxpayer for 2016-17:

  • New state pensioners who have income exceeding the personal tax allowance.
  • Taxpayers who are subject to PAYE and who cannot have that tax collected through their tax code

State pensioners, who receive state pension over their personal allowance and have received a notice to file a Self Assessment for the tax year 2016-2017 should complete their return as usual. They will join Simple Assessment in 2017-18.

Key features

HMRC will send out a SAC, this will be either as a P800 calculation or a PA302 calculation.

This will calculate an individual's tax liability based on their:

  • Earnings under PAYE, state pension, employer pension
  • Benefits and expenses as reported by their employer
  • Savings interest

as reported directly to HMRC by their employer, pension provider, the state or the banks.

  • An individual who receives a SAC does not need to notify HMRC of chargeability to tax unless there are chargeable income or gains which are required to be declared under Self Assessment (SA).
  • HMRC can withdraw a notice to file a Tax Return if they intend to issue an SAC.  
  • An individual will not be subject to a late filing penalty if they have received a withdrawal notice.
  • The SACwill set out
    • The amounts which are chargeable to income tax and capital gains tax, taking into account any relief or allowance that is applicable. 
    • The amount payable.
    • How the amount has been calculated.
    • How the amount should be paid.
    • The payment due date, which will be no earlier than it would have been had a self-assessment Return been submitted.
  • HMRC can withdraw a SACs once it is issued, and issue more than one SAC relating to the same tax year.
  • An individual who disagrees with an SACs should notify HMRC and provide reasons for their disagreement within 60 days of the date of issue.
  • HMRC has until four years from the end of the tax year to issue SAC.
  • The tax due date remains the same, unless the SACis issued after 31 October following the tax year, in which case it is extended to three months from the date of issue.


The measure applies from the date of Royal Assent of the Finance Act 2016, 15 September 2016, and can be used for the 2016/17 tax year onwards. It may be delayed until Brexit has passed.

Small Print

Legislation is section 167 and Schedule 23 of the Finance Act 2016.


Updated 20 September 2016 updated for Finance Act 2016 receiving Royal Assent.

Updated 20 April 2016 to show the increased time limit for querying a simple assessment from 30 days per the December 2015 Finance Bill to 60 days per the March 2016 Finance Bill.

Updated 1 August 2016 to add some extra small details.



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