Taxation – Profession fears SA ‘chaos’

Chaos has been predicted in Inland Revenue tax offices this week as the financial year’s first deadline for self-assessment returns looms.

Fears that stockpiling will occur after next Wednesday’s deadline were compounded by the start of corporate self-assessment. This is the first year companies must make returns under the new regime.

John Taylor, a tax investigation partner at Bishop Fleming’s Exeter office, said the problem was worsened by recent cuts in staff resources, meaning offices will be unable to cope when they are flooded by returns at deadline time.

Taylor, an ex-Revenue investigator, added: ‘They are working in the same framework but with different strategies and aims. Some are doing everything badly.’

Yuri Willing, a tax partner at Maidment Judd, said the Revenue appeared to be overwhelmed by the amount of work brought on by self-assessment.

She added: ‘In some cases we had penalty notices turning up for returns that went in two weeks earlier.’

A Revenue spokeswoman denied there were any problems over stockpiling last year. She said that returns were stockpiled because ‘they can’t deal with a million in a week’, and added that there were no plans to troubleshoot at any of its offices, which currently deal with claims autonomously.

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