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Revenue news

11 December 2002
Issue: 3887 / Categories:

Business by telephone

Business by telephone

Until 1998, the Revenue required any initial notification of, or changes to, information concerning an individual's personal tax affairs to be made in writing. Statement of Practice 2 was issued in 1998 and this described the type of services which the Revenue could thereafter provide to individual taxpayers (calling on their own behalf), who wished to conduct their business by telephone rather than in writing; from 18 December 1998 additional services were provided for the two million employees and pensioners of Scottish based businesses whose tax affairs were dealt with by Centre 1 in Scotland.

The demand for these additional services means that the Revenue intends to extend these services to more taxpayers. Details will be published in a new Statement of Practice to be issued within the next month or so. At the same time, it will expand the range of business that may be conducted by telephone. So, now it will accept certain information by telephone from authorised third parties, providing that their identity can be satisfactorily verified. The Revenue will also provide specific limited information by telephone. Third parties will include authorised agents, relatives and any other person who has been authorised to act on behalf of the taxpayer. The identity of the caller will be verified by asking a number of security questions.

As an interim measure, the extended services will only be available in the Revenue's contact centres. However, the Revenue expects to phase in these services over time.



Work to provide taxpayers and their agents, who have registered on the Government Gateway, with the facility to view self-assessment statements of account via the Internet is well under way. This will be introduced in three phases.

Phase 1: Statements issued from December 2002 onwards will be made available for taxpayers and agents, who are registered on the Gateway, to view on-line. This should become available in spring 2003.

Phase 2: For statements made available in Phase 1, an enhancement is planned that will enable the user to view the statement in a number of different layouts, for instance, by year. This enhancement is planned for release three or four months after the introduction of Phase 1.

Phase 3: The Revenue will update progress in late 2003 on a further enhancement to enable authorised users to see the latest accounting details and view in detail individual liabilities and how payments have been allocated


Filing date

Revenue enquiry centres countrywide will be open until 8 pm on Thursday 30 January 2003 and Friday 31 January 2003 to receive tax returns and payments.

The statutory filing date is 31 January 2003 for returns issued at the normal time. Any returns received after that date are late.

The Revenue will assume that any returns found in office letterboxes opened on Saturday 1 February were delivered on 31 January 2003 and therefore filed on time. Any returns it knows were received after midnight on 31 January (including electronically filed returns) are late.

However, following the Special Commissioner's decision in Steeden, the Revenue does not charge a late filing penalty for returns received up to midnight on 1 February, even though they have been filed late.

The Revenue will arrange for letterboxes to be cleared on the morning of Sunday 2 February, and will assume that any returns found in an office letterbox on the morning of Sunday 2 February 2002 were received before midnight on 1 February.

It should be noted that not all Revenue offices have letterboxes which are accessible in out of office hours.

(Inland Revenue Working Together Issue 11 dated 5 December 2002.)

Issue: 3887 / Categories:
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