This guide will show you how to change your address at HMRC. A lot of people forget that this is something they need to do if they are self-employed or if they have to do a self-assessment tax return.
Why do you need to change your address at HMRC?
Well, it’s so they can find you. Typically, it’s so they can prove they have issued documents to you. It tends to be a case of, “We’ve sent you this. You haven’t responded. You haven’t done what we’ve asked you to. Therefore, we’re going to fine you, penalise you, etc.” They won’t throw you in jail initially, so you’ve got plenty of time. But what can happen is that letters go to the wrong address and build up over months, possibly years, and you might not realise there is a problem, and it goes against your credit rating.
Documents or letters will have to go to the right address in order for them to be actioned. It could be a notice to file a tax return if you’re self-employed. It is a legal requirement to notify the authorities of your address. Once you have changed it, some of the HMRC systems will automatically update. If you change it on a self-assessment tax return or your digital tax account it should update the address for your national insurance, income tax, and child benefits, tax credits, state pension, and other things that are linked to it.
However, you might have to do it twice if you are self-employed and do a self-assessment tax return. One way is to change it in your personal digital tax account. The other way is to do it in your business account. What you must never do is make the assumption your accountant knows you have moved. Accountants will only know you’ve moved if you’ve told them. They won’t think, “Ooh, I must change it at HMRC.” They might change it on their own internal systems, but you might have already done it at HMRC. Then, the accountant goes in and wastes their time doing it, or you might not have thought about it, and the accountant goes, “Oh, I don’t need to do it because you’ll do it.” So whatever you do, if you do change your address, tell your accountant. Or, do the change of address yourself using this guide, as an accountant might charge for this service. Now, the accountant normally only has access to your business side, so you might find it gets changed there, but it doesn’t get changed on your personal tax account. Always log into your personal tax account and check.
As I’ve just said, if you are self-employed or a sole trader, you will probably have to change it with your personal tax account. For your business tax account, you definitely have to change it with the VAT man if you’re registered for VAT. If you are an employer, you will have to change it at the PAYE system. Yes, it would be absolutely fantastic if everything all fitted together. But it doesn’t yet, so wait until they’ve finished their rollout of making tax digital, and then you might find everything fits together.
If you are a limited company, there are more places for you to change – your corporation tax account for the company. This will be registered at the company’s address. If your registered office is at your home, then you will have to change the address for that. You’ll also have to change the director service office address, if that is what’s registered and on public view, and also the director’s personal address that the company’s house hold, although that is not the address that is published on record.
Again, you’ll need to change it with the VAT man if you’re registered for VAT. You’ll have to change it with the PAYE department if you have staff. If you’re also an employee on your own payroll, then you’ll need to change your address on your own payroll system. I know it’s such a time-consuming thing, but these are the places you will have to think about if you move home. Sometimes you wonder whether it’s worth moving home really?
I’m just going to take you through a couple of examples. You’ll need to log into your own digital tax account. Here is the link:
Or you can just Google, “Log into your digital tax account” (other search engines are available). You’ll need your government ID, which is normally 12 characters long, and then your password that you set up.
Click on “Manage account”, then “View or change your account details”, then “Manage my Government Gateway details”. Eventually, you will see what details they currently hold for you:
Don’t worry. This is not a real person. This is one I made up in my head. I was obviously hungry, which is why it’s got Hungry Hill, Sandwich Mill.
To change your address, click on “Add, view or change contact details”.
Click on that, and it will take you to a very old style screen. These screenshots were taken in March 2021. If you’re looking at this in a couple of years’ time, these screenshots might have changed. But the important thing is on this page you can click on “Change your address” and change your details.
This is the first screen where we can change the address. What we get now is a page asking you to fill in your house number and postcode (hopefully you’ll know that, given what we’re doing today!). Now, what you must remember is you can only change your address if you have actually moved. You can’t change it in advance. I suppose I probably should’ve mentioned that earlier.
Enter the house number or name. Then, this screen will come up:
Obviously, to protect the innocent, I have removed the address from the image. But it will say your new address. It then asks you when you moved to that address; so long as it’s today, or in the past, then you’re absolutely fine. Then, tick the box to say, “Yes, you want this to be used as your main contact details”, and press next. This is the confirmation to say, “Ooh, yes, we have changed your address”.
I, personally, would print that because if they then send you some things to your old address after this date you know you notified them of the change of address. If they still sent letters to your old address and then try and fine you for various things, you can say, “Uh-uh-uh, here’s my submission to say please change my address”. But I’m an accountant, so I like to keep things like that.
That is how to change your business address. If you’re self-employed or you do a self-assessment tax return, that’s how you do it from the business side.
You then want to navigate back to the front of your digital tax account and you want to go to the page that says, “View your personal account”.
I know it’s a bit of a pain in the bottom that you have to do it twice. But if you do it twice, then at least it’s definitely done rather than just doing it either on your personal account or your business account and hoping it fixes through.
Every time you go into your personal account, you have to confirm how you want to receive updates (which a huge pain).
I personally only ever want it by post. I don’t want to have to keep logging into my account. You will get an email sent to you when they have posted a message to you, but you never know whether it was a spam email, etc. I, personally, prefer to go things via the post. At least then it takes a scammer a bit more work to get it to me.
This has taken me to my account, and we want to click on, “Your account”.
Now, obviously, I’ve gone and faked my address, and I faked my national insurance number. You can see there is the option there, under main address, to change my main address. You do have the option to specify where you would like your letters sent. I, for example, could say I’m on tour, or I’m singing at Opera North – I will base my current address up in the north, and I will put my correspondence address, which is where you get your letters, to my family house, which is down in the south. You can do this if you have gone abroad – you can change your main address to abroad, but still receive your letters in the UK. You could put that as your parental home, family home, your accountant’s home (if you ask first – they may charge you for it!).
What we’re going to do now is change our main address. Be ready for some screenshots!
I said at the beginning of this guide that the personal account can be linked to other places. Here is where we do some of the linking! Here we have tax credits. Do you get tax credits? I haven’t pressed the button for yes, because I just wanted to make this as simple as possible. If you do press yes, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other screens that come up. At the moment, I’ve pressed no.
Do I live in more than one place? Well, no. I’ve clicked no for that.
Do I live in the UK? Yes, I do. Again, this could be tricky if you’ve gone to live abroad because you’ve, I don’t know, joined the opera in Stuttgart. But maybe you’re only there on a six-month basis, so you could temporarily change it to Stuttgart for six months, but keep your correspondence address is the UK. But for this guide we’re just saying, “Yes, I live in the UK”.
Then, again, it asks me to put in my postcode and the house name or number. I then click on find address.
This form would normally be populated, but I’ve taken out all the data that was in there and haven’t been imaginative and put anything back in. But this will put in what it thinks your address is based on your postcode and your house number or name.
It will then give the option of checking the details. Then, after I’ve pressed confirm and save, it will then say your address has been changed. On this version, it does not give you any submission receipt to say it’s actually been changed. I would suggest you screenshot this page and data etc., and keep it somewhere on your PC. Then you’ve got evidence if any issues come up.
That’s a very quick guide on changing your address with HMRC. Any questions, my contact details are below – good luck!