Self-assessment fails to attract.

The Inland Revenue believes its much-maligned internet-based self-assessment site will prove to be a success despite receiving less than one percent of returns electronically last week.

An estimated four and a half million tax returns are understood to have been filed before last weeks’ deadline for the Revenue to calculate respondents tax bills for the 1999/2000 tax year. A further five million are expected to be filed before the 31 January deadline – the final deadline before a #100 penalty is added.

Only 24,000 returns were filed electronically. But officials believe e-filing – in its first year of operation – will increase in popularity.

A spokeswoman, said: ‘So far we have 104,000 businesses and individuals registered to file electronically and we would expect that figure to continue to increase in the near future.’

The Inland Revenue added that it expects around one million returns will fail to reach them by the 31 January deadline, resulting in #100m in penalty fines.

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