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HMRC shouldn’t force us to file tax returns online

HMRC shouldn’t force us to file tax returns online

The FSB does not think that HMRC should force people to file their tax returns online.

The Federation agrees that although paper returns will eventually become a thing of the past, it would be better to let this happen organically.

Chief spokesman, Stephen Alambritis, said that this is an issue of equality and fairness. As an organisation, the FSB strongly believes that it is unfair to simply bracket everyone as an Internet user.

Whilst he appreciates that filing online makes the process quicker and easier for the government (and online accountants!), if a quarter of a million people want to complete paper returns, that is a substantial amount of taxpayers and HMRC should be magnanimous.

He also pointed out that considering the Revenue has made recent mistakes concerning both under and overpayments, it should not issue tax penalties if a paper return arrives on November 1st. This does not seem to be an unreasonable request when you consider the deadline date is actually a Sunday!

Currently, any returns received after the deadline of midnight on 31st October will be liable to a penalty charge of £100.

According to the National Statistics Office, there are still 9.2 adults in the UK who have never used the Internet and 27% of households do not have an Internet connection. 83% of households in London do have access but up in the North of England that figure falls to only 59%.

Those without a connection were asked why they did not have one and 39% said they didn’t need it. Are they going to be forced to get something they don’t want simply to file their taxes?

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Image: Lava Eyes by Vanderlin

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