Revenue errors result in 30% more client time

An ACCA survey found 71% of accountants said the time spent dealings because of Inland Revenue errors, writes Jonah Bloom. with personal tax had increased between 10% and 30%. They blamed faults in Revenue self-assessment systems and staff for the added burden.

Three-quarters of the 450 accountants surveyed said they had clients who received two returns, while 73% said there had been delays in processing returns. Almost 60% had seen demands issued where no tax was due, and 23% recorded examples of returns being sent to people with no taxable income. In addition 56% of accountants were told the Revenue’s computers had crashed and 44% had found errors in the rounding of payments.

John Andrews, president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said lower income groups were bearing the brunt of many of the administrative problems. The CIoT has formed a low incomes tax reform group focusing on the problems faced by pensioners.

‘We want to make it easier for those who can’t afford tax advice,’ said Andrews. ‘We’ll be tackling New Labour on the withdrawal of tax credit, and we’re talking to the Revenue about the problems pensioners are experiencing.

‘Many of them don’t even know whether they should be submitting self-assessment forms or not,’ he added.

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