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A critique of the self-assessment regime

22 March 2022 / Jay Vala
Issue: 4833 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , OTS , self assessment , tax policy
Tax is taxing

Key points

  • HMRC should be adequately staffed.
  • Focus on making tax digital shifts the onus of tax compliance on to the taxpayers.
  • Making tax digital needs to be a clearer system.
  • The Office of Tax Simplification has an important role to play in the improvement of the tax system.

In this article I will focus on the self-assessment system and tax documents which frequently lack information and clarity to enable the completion of a tax return with relative ease (especially by the unrepresented taxpayer). I will also discuss HMRC forms and other areas which are an integral part of the tax system to help taxpayers/agents at a practical level.

Self-assessment deadline of 31 January

According to HMRC 12 million taxpayers were required to file a 2021 tax return. Based on statistics at the beginning of January 2022 six million tax returns were outstanding – a staggering number. Thankfully...

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