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

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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