Rejoice! The UK's Annual Tax Return Nightmare is Being Abolished

By Gerald Lynch on at

Better be careful of electrocution from my laptop -- I'm writing this through tears of joy. Budget day is never a particularly happy one, bracing yourself for arts funding cuts and tax rises, but Chancellor George Osborne has today announced plans to abolish the annual Tax Return. Hallelujah!

The yearly struggle against mountains of invoices, receipts and confusing forms and sub-forms that 11 million Brits have to face each year will be replaced by a "digital tax account" that can be updated and checked online at any time.

Users will be able to set up direct debits to pay outstanding tax all year round, while basic information, such as earnings and pension income -- the tedious data that has to be submitted anew each year, despite HM Revenue and Customs already knowing it all already -- will be kept on record to save you the hassle of entering it. That post-Christmas January tax headache could become a thing of the past.

The new digital account system will begin rolling out at some point in 2016 according to the Coalition government's plans, and will be universally available by 2020. Masochists that still want to go through the trauma of filling out a paper return will be able to continue doing so, too, the weirdos.

Image Credit: UK self assessment tax return from Shutterstock