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That's how it works in the UK too. By default taxes are taken from your paycheck, and that's the most interaction the majority of people have with the tax organisation. If for some reason you pay too much tax (e.g. you start/quit in the middle of the year) they will automatically send you a cheque with the refund.

Even if you are self employed or run your own company you can do most things online, with a nice easy to use form. Last few years when I've done it, it takes around 30 minutes to get everything done (including finding all the numbers I need to enter from banks, my accountant, etc).

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