No faith in Revenue.
Almost 50% of finance directors have so little faith in the Revenue’s ability to introduce technology successfully, that they would be reluctant to make tax payments over the internet. The findings in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question survey followed news last week that the Revenue was looking into the best way of receiving payments electronically through a feasibility study. The Revenue has admitted it sent thousands of £100 fine notices in error to taxpayers who had met self-assessment return deadlines – prompting fears it would not be able to persuade payers to go online. Of the 208 FDs questioned, 43% said they wouldn’t submit payments this way due to concerns over credit card security and the Revenue’s ability to acknowledge receipt of payment. ‘I am a dinosaur and proud of it. I have not had good experiences with internet payments. I’d rather put a cheque in the post,’ said Brian Leeson, FD of leather strap manufacturers Aldersons. Of the 49% band of FDs who said they would use the internet, many said they would need reassurance the system was secure but emphasised the need to embrace technology. ‘Providing the site was secure, payment over the internet would be efficient and practical,’ said Stuart Chapman of educational company International Baccalaureate.