Responding to a recent survey of 200 accountants, only 5% answered ‘yes’ to the question of whether they had filed their return over the net. The survey found that of the 5% who had filed online, only 5% thought it a good service, with the remaining 3% saying it was not user-friendly and too time-consuming.
Although 5% is very poor, the user rate is actually five times more than the national average for taxpayers generally using e-filing.
ACCA’s self-assessment survey 2002 also showed that 98% of accountants had experienced problems with Revenue system failures or errors, with 80% saying they had to spend extra time on clients’ returns as a result.
Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA’s head of tax, said: ‘Given that the major complaint of our members was that they or their clients had suffered lengthy delays with the Inland Revenue processing returns, e-filing should have been the answer to their problems.
‘I hope that if the Revenue does spends money advertising e-filing in the future that the system actually works effectively.’
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