Can I Change the Address on My Tax Return After Filing It?
It may seem like an unlikely situation - that you file your self-assessment tax return, then you move before it's resolved. But under normal circumstances, it can take up to 12 weeks for HMRC to process your tax return. Add in the limitations of COVID-19 restrictions and this is currently longer. So it's a perfectly reasonable proposition that you may have a new address after you've filed your tax return.
Or perhaps you moved months ago, but filed your tax return without even checking those personal details. It's easy to do - especially if you've been in self-assessment for several years. And it's just suddenly dawned on you that you need to go back into your form and change your address.
But can you?
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
How to Tell HMRC About a New Address in self-assessment
You can't tell HMRC about a change of address until you've officially moved. How you do this depends on whether you're within the deadline for the tax year in question. For example:
- 2019-20 online tax return deadline: 31st January 2022
- 2020-21 online tax return deadline: 31st January 2023
If you filed your tax return online and are still within your deadline, you can change your address through your Government Gateway account. After you've logged into your tax account:
- Go to 'More self-assessment details'
- Click 'At a glance'
- Go to 'tax return options'
- Click on the tax return year you want to change
Once you've changed your address, you simply file the return again.
If you've missed this deadline for making your change of address, you'll need to write to HMRC instead. Previous tax years are resolved and 'closed', so any changes could affect your tax position. That's why HMRC prefers to sort them out in wiring. Obviously, changing your address makes no difference to how much tax you pay, or are owed, but the process is the same.
Just use the address on any other self-assessment correspondence from HMRC, or use the general inquiries address:
HM Revenue and Customs
Paper Tax Returns
If you're one of the few taxpayers who still file a paper self-assessment tax return, you'll have to tell HMRC about your change of address by mail. This means downloading a new tax return form, making the change of address correction, then printing it off again. Before you post it to HMRC you need to write 'amendment' at the top of the page with changes and include your Unique Taxpayer Number and name in an accompanying note.
Can't I Just Phone HMRC and Tell Them About My Change of Address?
Yes, as a self-employed person you can use the Income Tax General Enquiries helplines:
- 0300 200 3300 - if you're in the UK
- 18001 0300 200 3300 - if you can't speak or hear on the phone (relay UK service)
- +44 135 535 9022 - if you're phoning from outside the UK
Or your can use the self-assessment helplines:
- 0300 200 3310 - calls from the UK
- 03002003319 - textphone
- +44 161 931 9070 - calls from outside the UK
These helplines are available from 8am to 6pm every weekday and are closed at the weekend and on bank holidays. HMRC advises that it's easier to get through before 10am.
HMRC uses speech recognition software to organise their calls, so when you first get through you'll be asked the reason for your call. Just say 'change of address' and you should be understood and put through to someone that can help you.
Make sure you have your National Insurance Number beside you before you call the income tax helplines and your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number when you call the self-assessment helplines. It's part of the security checks and the advisor won't be able to help unless they can confirm you're you.
What Happens After I Tell HMRC My Change of Address?
Once HMRC has your new address, they update it across all their systems - which saves you a job. You don't have to phone around, or email, every different department. HMRC changes your address for you in all of these records: National Insurance, income tax, benefits, tax credits and the Pension Service. Then they email you a confirmation of your change of details.
Why Do My Current Address Details Matter to HMRC?
It's part of good business practice to keep and maintain accurate records - and that includes basic details like your name, address and phone number.
Imagine if you're flagged for a random investigation and one of the first things they uncover is that the address on your current tax return is a year out of date. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the accuracy of your other paperwork, does it? If you're using FreshBooks, the chances are that your accounting records are 100% - but it's not something HMRC takes for granted and any basic errors will only prolong an investigation that could result in penalties.
It's also to avoid missing correspondence from HMRC. There have been several cases where taxpayers facing small fines have ended up accumulating massive penalties because the letters were going to an old address. No one wants that.
So, when you move, make sure HMRC’s at the top of your 'change of address' list!