Revenue officials this week said that the authority would be targeting self-assessment taxpayers with two or three outstanding returns ‘who appear not to be influenced’ by the Revenue penalties.
Although the measures have been available to the Revenue since the introduction of self-assessment in 1995, the Revenue admitted the moves were a last resort in many cases.
A spokeswoman for the Revenue added it will also be telephoning a number of taxpayers who haven’t yet submitted their tax returns. The aim of the calls is to offer help in completing returns.
‘Many taxpayers may not be aware of penalties placed on their returns, or of the help we can provide in completing their returns,’ added the spokeswoman.
The annual interest rate on Revenue penalties, which is calculated on a daily basis, recently fell from 8.5% to 7.5% following interest rate cuts.
Meanwhile, the Inland Revenue could snub government outsourcing stalwart EDS over its £4bn IT contract. Its current 10-year contract with EDS, covering 73,000 desktops and 200 systems, runs until 2004, but the complexity means planning has to start now. John Yard, the Revenue’s IT director, said: ‘Other organisations have a very good chance of being able to win this competition but it will require the commitment of an ‘A’ team.’
Another contract with Accenture for the national insurance database also expires in 2004 and the Revenue will be looking to consolidate the two.
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