Contacts: John Whiting: 0207 804 4422
Viv Rees, Head of Communications:
020 7235 9381 (O), 07900 220 887 (M)
A survey of 984 tax advisers by The Chartered Institute of Taxation, CIOT, shows that everyone including the Inland Revenue, tax advisers and the ordinary taxpayer could do better when it comes to filing on time.
of 984 tax advisers by The Chartered Institute of Taxation, CIOT, shows that everyone including the Inland Revenue, tax advisers and the ordinary taxpayer could do better when it comes to filing on time.
John Whiting, CIOT, said:
“The CIOT has long been concerned with taxpayers’ filing behaviour and has supported the need for an investigation into the issue: why do so many people miss deadlines and provide information right up against the deadline?
“Our survey of 984 tax advisers shows that there are lessons for all. Filing your tax return is never going to be a number one priority, whether you have a tax adviser or whether you are a DIY enthusiast. It's almost inevitable that many people are going to be late or cut it fine, but we believe that more can be done to change filing culture.”
- “Taxpayers - need to assign tax a higher priority: it's not going to go away.”
- “Tax advisers – need to consider flexing fee structures to increase fees for late information providers, or at least make sure clients who file late know that you can't guarantee to meet the 31 January deadline - many advisers do one or both of these.”
- “Inland Revenue – need to target their advertising at particular groups, and above all think about advisers and the 31 January deadline when advertising.”
Unsurprisingly, most respondents to the survey felt existing penalties were sufficient. However, a majority recommended that a 12-month enquiry window from the date the return is filed would have a positive effect on filing behaviour.
The survey also looked at electronic filing and found most tax advisers unenthusiastic.
John Whiting commented:
"Whilst e-filing is the way forward, many tax advisers are unenthusiastic at present. Some invested time and money in Electronic Lodgement and want to see a sharing of benefits as e-filing goes forward before they embrace it. The survey points a need to:
- make sure the system can accept all pages of the tax return and electronic signatures
- emphasise security
- share savings that will accrue to the Revenue with advisers - not by discounts but by bringing in a system that helps tax advisers, not works differently from them, and gives access to things like taxpayers' statements electronically."