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HMRC halts work on self assessment pre-population API

16 March 2020: there will be no further development of the HMRC service that pulls employment and other data into commercial self-assessment software, HMRC has confirmed, although the original service will remain available.

The self assessment pre-population application program interface (API) service allows users of commercial software to pull the following information from HMRC’s systems into their commercial self-assessment software:

  • Income and tax deducted – employments and pensions.
  • Marriage allowance claims.
  • Class 1 primary and class 2 national insurance contributions.
  • P11D benefits.
  • Taxable state benefits.

The phase 1 service has been in public beta for two years and although many agents have found it useful there have been significant issues with data accuracy, capacity and timing. For example, the data is not available until HMRC has reconciled the relevant PAYE record.

HMRC has been working on addressing these issues and developing a phase 2 API with improved functionality. The phase 2 APIs have been in private beta testing with 10 software developers for a year and the Tax Faculty had been expecting the service to move to public beta.

HMRC is also developing an agent income record viewer service which will provide agents with a similar dataset for all taxpayers, not just those in self assessment. Development of this service is also on hold, but it remains available to any agent that is interested in joining the private beta.

The Tax Faculty says: “Although it is disappointing that HMRC has stopped the further development of these services, there have been significant issues with their development and a strategic rethink is appropriate.”