The UK tax system is under attack from fraudsters who attempt to register numerous people for self assessment then submit false repayment claims.
To counter this attack HMRC has been checking self assessment registration applications and repayment claims in greater detail. Taxpayers who have not claimed a repayment before may be asked for ID verification and evidence of the trading activity. These interventions have slowed up the processing of genuine tax repayments and caused a backlog of self assessment registrations.
HMRC is getting on top of this extra administration and has increased the resources devoted to clearing the unprocessed repayment claims.
From December 2021 all repayment claims should be actioned by HMRC within 30 calendar days of receipt. This may not mean that the repayment is issued in that period as those claims identified as a risk will be suspended and subject to further checks by compliance experts.