PracticeConsultingAccountancy Age Big Question: Half FDs fear online tax payments because of technical fears

Accountancy Age Big Question: Half FDs fear online tax payments because of technical fears

Almost 50% of finance directors have so little faith in the Inland Revenue's ability to introduce new technology successfully that they would be reluctant to make tax payments over the internet.

The findings in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question survey, followed news last week that the IR was looking into the best way of receiving payments electronically through a feasibility study.

The Revenue has already admitted it sent thousands of £100 fine notices in error to taxpayers who had actually met self-assessment return deadlines – prompting fears the agency would not be able to persuade payers to convert online when the service is launched.

Of the 208 FDs questioned, 43% said they would not submit payments this way mainly due to concerns over credit card security and the IR’s ability to acknowledge receipt of payment.

‘I am a dinosaur and proud of it. I have not had good experiences with making payments via the internet. I’d rather put a cheque in the post,’ said Brian Leeson, FD of leather strap manufacturers Aldersons.

David Wood of car paint distributors Carlac, added: ‘The Government are poor administrators.’

Of the band of FDs that said they would use the internet, just 49%, many said they would need reassurance the system was secure but emphasised the need to embrace technology.

‘Providing that the payment site was secure, which I am sure it would be, payment over the internet would be efficient and practical,’ said Stuart Chapman of educational company International Baccalaureate.

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