CIOT Critical of HMRC’s Paper Saving Drive

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
September 07, 2010 /

HM Revenue & Customs is in for criticism by the Chartered Institute of Taxation to their plan to discontinue sending hard copies of PAYE to tax agents for onward transmission to the clients.

HMRC envisages this plan to stop sending copies of PAYE coding notices known as P2s and tax calculations known as P800s to tax agents in order to save an estimated £1.25m. CIOT argues that this new saving measure will induce more work for HMRC, their agents and the taxpayers which may turn out to be more costly.

Anthony Thomas, CIOT deputy president said that this proposal is too short sighted and looks to be taken in haste and the change is being thrown upon the taxpayers and agents without serious deliberations or consultations.

He added that there was pressure on all government organizations to curb cost and upload saving processes to generate fund but in this instance by keeping the agents uninformed, HMRC may be prone to losing more money than saving something. He argues that the major cost involved might be on paper, printing, transportation and postage and such expenditures could be replaced by some cheaper method of communication such as e-mails and text messages.

Thomas warned that preferably the taxpayers should be given sufficient information such as the ongoing changes. HMRC intends to send messages to taxpayers. CIOT also cautioned that instead of reading letters sent from HMRC, the taxpayers might expect the agents to be already taking care of assimilating such information and handle their tax matters as in the past. The tax payer may not altogether read the message or its reminder.

CIOT has therefore asked HMRC to invalidate the plan for the time being and open up a serious consultation on the proposals.


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