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New returns alarm

The Inland Revenue was abusing taxpayers’ rights by refusing to issue self-assessment forms, a leading accountant has claimed.

Richard Murphy, senior partner with Murphy Deeks Nolan, said three of his clients, who have always completed returns in previous years, had been told by their local tax offices that they will not be issued with one for the coming tax year. ‘The Revenue said that, on the basis of the taxpayer’s details it had seen, it was not interested in sending out forms,’ Murphy said.

‘This is an abuse of civil liberties. Even if someone has no tax liability, they still have the right to prove it,’ he added.

One of his clients, an overseas resident, had losses on rental income he wanted to carry forward, Murphy said. ‘He has a legal duty to declare this kind of income, but is being denied the opportunity to do so as a result of the Revenue’s action.’

Murphy believed the Revenue was ‘terrified’ by the amount of work it was having to deal with under self-assessment. ‘It has no way of knowing how it is going to process what it already has, let alone any new returns,’ he said.

A spokesman for the Revenue said: ‘We’ve carefully ensured that people who need to be assessed under the new system are. Those who don’t require a return, don’t get one.’

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