As a small business owner, when any of your personal details change, you need to let HMRC know about these changes. In this article, we explain why it’s important for HMRC to ask for your up-to-date details and the steps you need to take to inform them of any changes.
Changes to name or address
If you change your name or your permanent address, you’ll need to tell HMRC so they can update their records and are able to contact you when necessary. Failing to do this could lead to problems with your taxes, such as missing the deadline to file a Self Assessment tax return or pay a tax bill. In some circumstances, you could even face a fine for failing to notify HMRC of a change of address.
If you need to file a Self Assessment tax return, your details will be updated automatically once you’ve reported a name or address change and your new name or address will appear on your next tax return.
Changes to income
It’s very important to tell HMRC about changes to your taxable income, such as a new source of income or if you start or stop receiving taxable benefits, so that you don’t pay too much tax or receive an unexpected Self Assessment tax bill at the end of the year.
Changes to relationship or family
A change to your relationship or family circumstances can have tax implications as a small business owner if you’ve previously been including child benefit payments or transferring or receiving marriage allowance, on your Self Assessment tax return.
If your relationship changes, for example, if you get married, form a civil partnership, divorce, separate or stop living with a spouse or civil partner, you must tell HMRC. This is important so that you don’t pay too much tax or receive an unexpected Self Assessment tax bill.
How to tell HMRC about changes
How you contact HMRC to update any of the above details depends on whether you only pay tax through Self Assessment or if you’re someone who HMRC calls a tax agent, such as an accountant.
If you only pay tax through Self Assessment
If you don’t have a personal or business tax account or user ID, you’ll need to create one via the Government Gateway login page.
Alternatively, if you’re self-employed or in a partnership, you can write to the address on the most recent correspondence you have from HMRC or call the Income Tax helpline.
If HMRC needs to contact you about anything confidential they’ll reply by phone or post.
If you’re a tax agent
If you’re a tax agent, you can use HMRC’s online services. You’ll need an agent services account to use these services.
If you don’t have an agent services account, you can create one when you use one of HMRC’s online services for agents for the first time. However, if you’re a new agent, you must first register as an agent by post before you can create an account.
Alternatively, tax agents can update these details by calling the dedicated helpline or by post.
Changes to your business details
It’s also important to tell HMRC if any of your business’s details change such as the business name, address, legal structure, bank details, payroll details or if you’re closing or selling your business. HMRC provides more information about how to do this on its website.
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Disclaimer: The content included in this blog post is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this blog post. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.