TaxPersonal TaxAccountancy Age exclusive: Delay to discounts for e-filing

Accountancy Age exclusive: Delay to discounts for e-filing

The Inland Revenue has revealed its much-lauded £10 e-filing discount will not be available to customers until after 31 January 2001 - despite the scheme launching next month.

From April, self-assessment taxpayers who file their return over the internet and pay any tax due electronically were due to receive a £10 discount as an incentive to embrace internet technology.

However the Revenue has reported that it will not have the structure in place to be able to discount individuals tax bills until next year, with no firm date imminent.

It is locked in talks with representative bodies including the Taxpayers Service Delivery Sub-group in a bid to thrash out a solution and timescale.

A spokeswoman, confirmed: ‘At the moment we do not know when the mechanism will be in place to recognise the discount. It will depend on the interest we receive from talks with the representative bodies.’

Further information is expected to be unveiled in the Budget but already it is estimated three million self-assessment returns may have been submitted before the Revenue is ready to recognise the discount.

As a result the agency could have a backlog of work to reinvestigate returns before giving the discount.

Before the £10 can be given, legislation will be needed in the next Finance Bill, while Royal Assent – which is not expected until August – will also have to be given.

Until then individuals will only be able to register to file and file their return before August and be credited with the discount at a later date.

Revenue officials have been told at internal meetings the timing for the introduction of the discounts is still to be decided.

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