TaxPersonal TaxSelf assessment could be improved on the cheap

Self assessment could be improved on the cheap

The number of taxpayers who submit their returns online could be increased if the government made some simple, cost-free changes to the self-assessment system, according to the ACCA.

Since the start of internet filing only 0.1% of taxpayers able to submit self-assessment returns have actually used the facility.

Links: Self assessment security failureMore worryingly only 5% of ACCA members practising in tax had opted to file their returns via the internet rather than using the paper forms.

According to Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at the ACCA, 40% of American tax-payers currently file their returns over the internet and there is a drive to double this percentage.

This is despite the fact that they pay a fee to do so, unlike in the UK where the software is provided free of charge.

One of his proposals is to give online tax filers a deadline of 31 October, one month after paper-based returns have to be submitted, if the Inland Revenue is to calculate the tax liability.

Currently the time limit for the Revenue to investigate self-assessment returns is 12 months after the final filing deadline of 31 January. Reducing this to nine months would in his opinion encourage more taxpayers to file online.

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