The end of the tax return?

March 19th, 2015  |  Published in Uncategorized

The end of the tax return?

Yeah right, another misleading headline, like the sun shining down on the economy and 1p off a pint of beer making us all suddenly better off (Buy 300 pints get one free!).

In the words of David Gauke MP Financial Secretary to the Treasury from the HMRC guide issued today “Millions of people will no longer have to complete a tax return at all – whilst those with more complex tax affairs will be able to use their account to declare income and pay tax in year”

Complex = more than just PAYE and interest income. Those figures should now be pre filled in for you on the online return – if the IT works, that is.

The rest of us will be able to (later to be replaced by ‘required to’, no doubt) pay tax ‘as we go’ rather than after the tax year has ended. There is some wishfull thinking about your accounting software reporting online as you go through the year to HMRC, who will take tax of you as you go along, and never get it wrong, no doubt. What could possibly go wrong? Many, or most, still keep manual records and they, or their accountants, will have to enter the information into the monthly accounts information with HMRC. That’s getting rid of the yearly tax return and replacing it with a monthly return!

The self-employed will still need to convey their tax adjusted income details to HMRC, check that it is correct and then make a declaration and approve the submission. Presumably there will be filing dates by which time this information needs to be provided. Is that not a tax return?

As always the devil is in the detail, and this is only a long term aspiration by HMRC – don’t throw away those business records just yet!








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