Nearly half of UK workers have never checked their personal tax account, new research from the Post Office shows.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced the Personal Tax Account in 2015 to make it easier for people to view and manage their personal tax affairs online.
It provides a range of services, allowing you to check your state pension, submit claims for tax rebates, file tax returns and manage tax credits.
But the research shows many workers are not taking the opportunity to check on their tax affairs. 46% have never checked their personal tax accounts, despite nearly a third (29%) wanting a better understanding of their tax affairs.
When it comes to personal tax accounts, 25 to 34-year-olds are the most active age group, with 43% having accessed their account multiple times compared to the national average of 38%.
However, many in this group are unaware of what the service can be used for, with nearly a third (32%) falsely believing it can show you where your tax is spent, with one in five (22%) believing it can be used to complain about how much tax they pay.
More than half (54%) of 45 to 54-year-olds have not checked their personal tax account, despite the fact it can be used to keep up to date with state pension contributions.
Those approaching retirement are least likely to have checked their personal tax account.
Martin Edwards, the Post Office managing director of identity services, says: “Currently, nearly a quarter (22%) of people don't think they earn enough to warrant looking at their personal tax account, which means that thousands of workers could be missing out by not taking simple steps such as checking that their pension contributions and tax code are correct.
“It’s vital that we all are able to understand and manage our personal tax affairs – not just the self-employed but also carers and those with second jobs and career ‘gig workers’ too.
"Even if you are on a PAYE scheme but have additional benefits such as a bonus or company car, it’s really easy now to stay in control – avoiding any surprises when your annual return is due.”
The top five reasons people access their personal tax account
- Check they are paying the right tax (38%)
- Check their state pension contributions (28%)
- Complete a self-assessment (25%)
- Apply for a tax credit or refund (20%)
- Check their national insurance number (19%)
letters to say tax owed
myself and several friends all pensioners have received letters saying we owe tax of varying amount with no reason given I phoned to query but
was told pension provider must have used wrong code but as the tax office know my pension new pension before me and use this to give code dont understan how this can be,