In April 2004, HMRC published new guidelines for those who should complete tax returns. The aim was to ensure that taxpayers whose affairs are straightforward or whose tax liability can be met through PAYE deductions will not normally be asked to complete self-assessment returns. The categories of taxpayers who were to be taken out of self-assessment were:

employees paying tax at the higher rate. (Previously, employees paying higher rate tax had to complete a tax return irrespective of the complexity of their tax affairs. Higher rate liability alone is no longer a reason for employees to be sent a tax return);

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