NAO to review self assessment
The £20bn the government raises through income tax self assessment will become the subject of a comprehensive National Audit Office study into its accuracy and timeliness.
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Launched earlier this month, the report will examine the Inland Revenue’s ‘practices and performance’ in receiving correct returns on time.
Currently around 30% of forms that are filed are inaccurate, and one in 10 are filed late.
The study, which will also look into how the Revenue identifies those who should file a return and how its complexity can be reduced, is currently at the planning stage.
If a full study does go ahead, as expected, the NAO will publish its report in spring 2005.
The self-assessment regime was established in 1996 – but the NAO has conducted just one study, completed in 2001. It concluded that systems could be further improved by ‘reviewing the operation and effectiveness of their approach to enforcement’ and ‘revising their performance targets’.