Shock at self-assessment deadline move

Shock at self-assessment deadline move

Profession warns shortening of self-assessment tax deadlines could affect the working practices of tax advisers

The accounting profession has reacted with shock to the shortening of
self-assessment tax deadlines, warning it could affect the working practices of
tax advisers.

Online filing of self-assessment returns is set to move back from 31 January
to 30 November from 2008, while paper returns must be completed by 30 September.

The announcement, made as part of the launch of the Carter Review, has been
fully accepted by HM Revenue & Customs as the blueprint for its online
services.

But accountants say the move will put more pressure on them and their clients
to gather and process documents in time.

‘I can’t see a single good reason for doing it,’ said Paul Aplin, deputy
chairman of the ICAEW’s tax faculty.Smith & Williamson national tax director
Francesca Lagerberg said a combination of Lord Carter’s plans to increase the
use of online filing and new deadlines could place extra pressure on HMRC’s IT
systems.

Lord Carter defended his review, saying it was part of a wide consultation
that incentivised accountants to use online filing.

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