Paper tax returns to be phased out in UK by 2020

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Digital tax accounts will become the norm in the next five years, eliminating the year-end rush to file, UK Chancellor George Osborne confirmed yesterday.

Businesses and individuals will submit their accounting information throughout the year online via their computers or mobile devices, will be able to pay their tax at any point during the year and will be able to spread the cost across several instalments to reduce the pressure on their cashflow.

Online tax accounts will also demonstrate how HM Revenue & Customs actually calculates the tax the business or person needs to pay.

Early next year, the new system will roll out to five million small businesses and ten million individuals. By 2020, businesses will be able to link their accounting software directly to the digital tax return system.

“Tax really doesn’t have to be taxing, and this spells the death of the annual tax return,” said Osborne, announcing the new policy as part of yesterday’s Budget speech.

“Businesses will feel like they are paying a simple, single business tax – and again, for most, the information needed will be automatically received.”

 

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