TaxAdministrationE-filing deluge faces Revenue

E-filing deluge faces Revenue

The Inland Revenue has said it can cope with the deluge of extra work that would result if e-filing of payroll returns is made compulsory.

The recommendation to do so came in the Carter Report published as part of last week’s pre-Budget report with proposals to ease the burden on small businesses of collecting PAYE and NI for the Revenue.

But only 5,000 employers covering five million employees file payroll accounts electronically leaving 1.5 million to come on board over the next six years.

IT experts have now raised concerns that the task of preparing large business e-filing by 2004 and small businesses by 2007 is just too big for the Revenue.

John Tate, chairman of IT consultancy Tate Bramald, said: ‘Any projects where the public sector and technology combine, is a disaster waiting to happen. There are so few examples where the government has embarked on an IT project and it has worked.’

But a Revenue spokesman was this week bullish about the task ahead. ‘In terms of staff, IT capacity, the answer is yes the Inland Revenue is ready to take on board this increase in e-filers,’ he said.

Consultation on the Carter Report is open until 31 January.

Links

More on the pre Budget report

Large companies face e-filing deadline

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