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The end of the tax return?


16/06/2015 by David Gibbens, Director, Poole Waterfield

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In the Spring Budget the Chancellor announced his intention to abolish tax returns over the life of this Parliament, the plan being to replace them with digital tax accounts enabling taxpayers to manage their tax affairs on line.

Reliable & accurate information

It will be interesting to see how this develops and, if this does come to pass, what the real differences will be between a tax return and a digital tax account. One way or another HMRC will still expect reliable and accurate information to be provided, so although the flow of information may change, the information itself will be pretty much the same.

That is not to say that there isn’t a change of tack from HMRC. There is a clear message that they are looking to shift the emphasis away from general compliance and into investigation, with a focus on tackling serious rather than minor defaulters. In other words they are after big wins. To what extent this will be matched with simplifications or relaxations elsewhere, if at all, remains to be seen.

A waiting game

This is very much a “wait and see” situation. They may have made their general intentions clear but what is less certain is how such a cultural shift will manifest itself and over what timeframe. When he next approaches the dispatch box to make his July Budget speech, it will be interesting to see whether the detail behind the plans are any clearer.

For the time being it is business as usual. Tax returns still need to be completed and filed on time. Now is a good time to get your records in order for the last tax year to avoid last minute rushes. If you’re in business remember to think about expenses you may have missed, such as expenses you may have paid privately, any business miles you have travelled in your own car and the costs of using your home as an office, to name just a few.

If you need any help with your tax returns (for as long as we have them!) or advice with your business generally please remember that the team at Poole Waterfield are here to help. You can contact a member of my team on 01384 455505.
 
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Category: David Gibbens Blog Author: David Gibbens, Director, Poole Waterfield

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