With HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) pressing ahead with plans to make ‘customers’ deal with them only digitally, it is good to see that when a system issue with the EE network meant that some of the company’s customers were unable to access the HMRC website on 31 January (the last day on which a tax return may be filed without incurring a penalty), they have agreed to allow those affected to file an extension.

The glitch meant that a confirmatory text message, needed to log in, was not received by many customers.

Difficulties in using the Government Gateway are well known. Despite protests, however, the Government is also intent on pressing forward with the requirement that small companies, landlords and the self-employed will have to file tax returns quarterly from April 2018, which seems an odd decision for a Government that claims to be committed to reducing the administrative burdens it imposes on its citizens.

On the plus side, the intention is that the chore of the annual tax return will be done away with for almost everyone by 2020.


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