Millions of people from across the UK could be paying more tax than they need to, it has emerged, after figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) showed that more than 15 million individuals have not checked their Personal Tax Accounts.
The figure means that less than half of taxpayers have accessed their accounts, risking errors in the amount they pay.
Personal Tax Accounts were introduced by the Revenue in 2015 and include details of income, state pension records and National Insurance contributions.
They were intended to make taxpayers responsible for ensuring they are on the correct tax code.
Personal Tax Accounts can be accessed at gov.uk/personal-tax-account. Registration requires your name, an email address and a password. This will generate a 12-digit Government Gateway ID which will be needed in future when you log in.
You will also need to enter a phone number to generate a separate access code, which will be sent by text or automated call.
To access your account, you will be asked to enter information from a passport, payslip or P60 as well as to answer some security questions.
Under the income section, you will find information on your tax code, including deductions made by HMRC.
It is worth checking your Personal Tax Account as soon as possible. Figures show that 6.7 million people paid the wrong amount of tax last year because their tax code was wrong.
Link: Is your online tax account fiddled with mistakes?
With less than 60 days left until the deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more than 90 per cent of UK small businesses admit they are not yet fully ready.
In fact, a poll conducted by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) found that only eight per cent of SMEs have completed their preparations for the new data protection regulations, while a further 35 per cent said preparations are only at an early stage and 33 per cent said they had not even started.
This latter figure is not surprising as the survey also showed that 18 per cent of small business owners were completely unaware of the GDPR; with 34 per cent admitting they had little understanding of its requirements or complexity.
When breaking down the sectors of those asked, arts and entertainment businesses were the least prepared for the regulations followed by the retail and wholesale sector, construction, manufacturing and the scientific professions.
The most prepared were those in the financial services sector, where 82 per cent of respondents said that they had either started or completed their GDPR preparations.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: “Many small businesses will be concerned the changes will be too much to handle. It’s clear a large part of the small business community is still unaware of the steps they need to take to comply and may be left playing catch-up.”
UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, welcomed the FSB’s campaign. She said: “Research suggests the SME sector is less prepared than others for the changes. We know that many small businesses are keen to get it right, but with so much misinformation out there, it’s difficult for them to know what’s right and what’s not.”
Link: Federation of Small Business GDPR Research