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Self Assessment – Combating common errors at point of filing

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This week I want to tell you about some changes to the Self Assessment (SA) online return that are currently being trialled. We have identified 21 of the most common mistakes made in online returns and to tackle these, we’ve created three different types of messages to help customers and reduce potential errors.

These are:

  • Permanent messages

Displayed above the relevant question to provide customers with more information before they complete that section.

  • Warning messages

Appear if the customer has entered something which may be incorrect, e.g. if a customer has made an entry in two boxes and these seem inconsistent. The customer can ignore and bypass the message.

  • Error messages

Appear if the customer has entered something which we know is incorrect because of other information the customer has included or excluded in the return. The customer will have to amend the entry before they can submit the online form. e.g. if a customer claims overlap relief but hasn’t told us their business has stopped trading or the accounting period has changed, an error message will appear.

The trial will run on HMRC Software from May 2016 and will finish at the end of the financial year. There will be a trial and control group split therefore please be aware that not all customers will see the new messages, and if you file for multiple clients using HMRC Software you may not always see the messages either. We’ll be evaluating the trial and the results will shape our new digital services.

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