Self-assessment tax returns – deadline is fast approaching

Self-assessment tax returns – deadline is fast approaching

Over 11 million people need to complete a self-assessment tax return each year and the deadline for 16/17 paper submissions is 31 October. Those who have left it to the last minute or need more time can complete the online returns by 31 January. 

For the online self-assessment, people will need to confirm their identity. One of the ways to do this is through the GOV.UK Verify services. 

Here Rosalie Dowding tells us more about the service which is also available online on the Post Office website.

What is Verify? 

Verify is a relatively new way for people to confirm their identity online. It is a Government digital identity service that allows you to use a single account to access a range of government services. There are approximately 1.3 million users across the UK with a Government target of 25 million digital identities by 2020.

And Post Office is the leading identity provider in the GOV.UK Verify scheme. Our trusted brand means we have around 45% share of the Verify market (from a panel of seven providers).

What can you use it for? 

At the moment you can use it to access 12 services. It includes seeing personalised state pension forecast, as well as checking tax codes and viewing driving license information, and of course completing your self-assessment tax return. 

How does it work?

Verify is free, secure and provides tough security to protect your details, which helps prevent identity theft and fraud. As this is such sensitive personal data, the government needs to be absolutely certain of your identity and these standards are established by the government. To verify your identity we use two pieces of evidence – such as a Passport, Driver's licence or mobile phone contract to check information such as your address. It’s important to note that running Verify checks does not mark your credit record.

Why is having a digital identity important?

Filling in multiple paper documents is clunky and prone to error. Furthermore, having a secure identity online is increasingly essential, as Cifas (not-for-profit fraud prevention organisation) says there were a record 89,000 cases of identity theft in the first half of this year. This crime often goes under the radar as you may not realise that your identity has been stolen until you go to buy a house or take out a credit card. Furthermore, this obliteration of your credit rating is often irreversible.

How do we get started?

Get started here. If you have any further questions, comments or observations about the service, please email rosalie.dowding@postoffice.co.uk