Accountants report Revenue’s failures

And a further 70% now have to spend more time on their clients’ self-assessment returns since the introduction of self-assessment, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants said.

According to the report, self-assessment – intended to simplify income tax collection – has been identified as the biggest additional burden for nearly 90% of tax practitioners, with more than a third saying their workload has increased by up to 60%.

Meanwhile, mistakes by the Revenue and new government initiatives have made it harder for businesses and their accountants to comply with the UK’s tax system.

Other government initiatives have also added to the workload relating to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxation, with 98% finding an increase.

Most of these, 92%, had additional problems with IR35, which relates to personal services companies, while Working Families Tax Credits added to the burden for 78% of respondents. The collection of Student Loans created pressure for 61% and 57% identified the National Minimum Wage as having an impact.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA’s Head of Taxation, said: ‘Our members have complained that the tax system is in danger of becoming unworkable. There have also been concerns that they need to spend an increasing amount of time correcting Inland Revenue errors.

‘Re-organisation and cutbacks within the Inland Revenue have made matters worse. As tax has become more complex, they have seen staff at local tax offices reduced, with those who remain being inadequately trained.’

He added: ‘It is vital the Inland Revenue and the government look closely at the damaging impact these issues are having on businesses in the UK. A simplification of the current tax system should be a top priority.’


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