The Chartered Institute of Taxation has complained to the Revenue’s board about its decision to restrict the discount to those who file personally, excluding taxpayers who file electronically through agents. The institutes’ members said the Revenue’s decision was ‘unfair and flies in the face of the principle that all taxpayers should be treated equally’.
Angry tax practitioners warned the chancellor on the announcement of the initiative that he would be breaching the Taxpayers’ Charter if he did not extend the provision for £10 discounts to agents who file their clients’ tax returns electronically.
The charter stipulates all taxpayers should be treated the same, an aspect that would be broken according to furious tax practitioners unless the discount is offered to agents as well as small businesses and individuals which submit electronically.
The pilot scheme began this month and will last for a year. It offers a £10 discount to individuals who submit their return over the internet. A discount of £100 is available to small businesses that file their VAT returns or PAYE end-of-year returns electronically. Discounts are being offered to encourage the use of the internet and, according to experts, should produce long-term administrative savings for the Revenue. The Chartered Institute of Taxation said these savings should be shared.
The e-filing initiative follows the prime minister’s goal to have all businesses connect to the internet over the next few years, backed by Gordon Brown’s announcement of making the UK the leader in e-commerce.
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