HMRC’s drive to encourage tax returns to be completed online is in line with the government’s plans to expand its digital services and has been taken up by 11.5million a year, helping to cut processing, storage, stationary and postal costs.
The NAO report, however, has found that HMRC’s savings are 14% lower than the department predicted and its raised concerns over whether the benefits are being maximised, saying: “HMRC does not have sufficient understanding of the relative costs it incurs in online filing compared to filing of paper returns or of the costs and benefits to customers.
“For these reasons it is not possible to conclude whether benefits are being maximised and value for money has been achieved. Significant improvement is needed in these areas to drive future development on an informed basis."
Revised figures by the HMRC means the department expects £190 million in cumulative savings to be made by next year, with annual savings of £66 million thereafter; with the programme expected to break even during 2012-2013.
A spokeswoman for HMRC said: "Our online services have enabled, this year alone, a record 6.9 million people to send their self-assessment tax returns to us over the internet.
“In addition, 93% of company returns and over three-quarters of all VAT returns have come in over the internet. In excess of 11 million taxpayers now take advantage of our online services, enjoying many benefits and saving the taxpayer £60 million a year."
If you’d like help with your future tax returns or your businesses tax planning, contact the accountants Yeovil at Milsted Langdon.
For more information, please visit www.milsted-langdon.co.uk
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