Taxman embarks on ad blitz

Moira Stuart

Moira Stuart: expected o front HMRC campaign

The taxman is set to launch a £5m advertising blitz to advise taxpayers of
the new self-assessment deadline.

Taxpayers completing returns by hard copy will need to submit documentation
by 31 October, three months earlier than in previous years. HM Revenue &
Customs begins the major campaign to advise taxpayers in October.

According to an HMRC
spokesman, the ad campaign will encompass financial and mainstream
press outlets and local radio broadcasters among other forms of multimedia.

‘There won’t be a man, woman or child who won’t know about the new deadline,’
the spokesman said.

The promotion will also herald a new face to front the campaign, thought to
be former BBC newsreader Moira Stuart.

Pressed on why September ­ just weeks from the deadline ­ was chosen for the
launch of the campaign, the spokesman said it was a prime time in the tax cycle.

‘It’s a major campaign. We’ve been doing a lot of work around the new
deadline… it’s quite clear to everyone who makes a paper return what the
deadlines are,’ he added.

More than nine million people are required to lodge a tax return. A total of
939,033 self-assessment returns have been received online to 17 August 2008
since 6 April this year, an increase of 24.42% over the same period last year.

Some taxpayers’ groups ‘that like to know about these things as soon as they
happen’ ­ were targeted through advertising in July.

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