The Inland Revenue has come under fire from the ACCA this week after institute research found record levels of self-assessment system failure.
According to the ACCA’s fourth annual self-assessment survey, problems in the Revenue system were as high as the record levels found in last year’s results.
Since self-assessment was launched in 1997, the system has been criticised over complicated forms and statements and high processing times, while the levels of staff and training have also been questioned.
It was found that some 95% of the 550 UK practitioners quizzed had experienced problems because of Inland Revenue systems failures or errors on their part.
Additionally, 70% of accountants reported they had to spend extra time on client self-assessment because of Revenue errors – with more than half of those accountants who did extra, having to write off their costs.
Another 60% experienced problems because Revenue computers or systems had crashed, while some 51% received incorrect payment demands and a similar number found Revenue staff were unable to answer technical queries. Half of respondents also found the Inland Revenue lost forms or correspondence.
ACCA head of taxation Chas Roy-Chowdhury, said: ‘The problems with the system are almost as great today as they were last year when the problems hit their peak. More than 95% of respondents experienced problems with self assessment.’
The Revenue were unable to comment on the results.