Putting the Carter before the Horse Taxpayers are to be given less time to fill in their tax returns, following the publication of a new study by Lord Carter for the Government, published on Budget Day.
He has suggested that the deadline for filing personal tax returns should be accelerated to 30 September for paper returns, and to 30 November for on-line returns. Currently it is 31 January for both. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have accepted this suggestion.
Anne Redston, Chair of Personal Taxes at the Chartered Institute of Taxation says: “There has been no consultation with taxpayers or agents on this measure. HMRC should first find out if this idea is practicable before they announce such a radical change. Consultations should precede decisions, not follow them. This is putting the ‘Carter’ before the horse.”
The CIOT is particularly concerned because the preparation of returns can usually only begin after 5 July (when information is provided by employers in the form of P11Ds); the pressure on agents to produce thousands of returns to these tighter deadlines may mean that large numbers of returns either miss the deadline or have to be submitted with estimates.
Notes to Editors
The Carter Review of on-line services is at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2006/carter-review.htm
HMRC’s acceptance of the recommendation is at para 5.81 and Box 5.3 of the 2006 Budget Report (the Red Book), see http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/20F/02/bud06_ch5_180.pdf