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9am Lowdown: Best digital self assessment...ever!

3rd Feb 2015
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HMRC had its best ever digital self assessment, but has to fine over 890,000 who failed to file on time. Meanwhile in Ireland, it has clarified its e-gaming VAT treatment and in Wales, the auditor general has found some 'deteriorating standards'.

Best digital self assessment...ever! 

210,000 more than last year filed online with HMRC during this self assessment season. However there are still 890,000 returns outstanding.

The Revenue received 10.24m tax returns by midnight on 31 January, 85.5% per cent of which were sent online.

The busiest days for filing were 30 and 31 January, when HMRC received 980,000 returns. The busiest hour was between 1pm and 2pm on 30 January, when almost 50,000 returns were received – 830 per minute.

The busiest hour on deadline day was between 11 am and midday, when almost 32,000­­ returns were received – 530 per minute. HMRC also answered 95 per cent of calls first time on deadline day.

Around 4.3m left it until January to file their returns, which HMRC issued in April 2014.

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Ireland clarifies e-gaming services VAT treatment 

The Revenue Commissioners has updated its VAT Manual to clarify, for VAT purposes, the "taxable amount" for supplies of E-Gaming services to Irish consumers following the EU's 1 January VAT rules.

For games of chance, the authority said the amount paid out is predetermined by a mathematical algorithm. In such circumstances, the taxable amount is the net revenue actually received by the operator (that is, the total amount staked by the customer, less the value of winnings paid out). Bonus plays, free plays, and other forms of promotional discounts should be excluded from any calculation of the consideration on which VAT is due, it said.

For pooled gaming, where individuals compete against each other for a prize fund (such as in a poker tournament), the operator earns a tournament participation fee, commonly referred to as a rake, from the customer. For VAT purposes, the taxable amount should be the rake that is attributable to Irish players minus the relevant portion for any top-up the operator has made to the jackpot.

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Auditor General finds 'deteriorating standards' in Wales 

There has been a deterioration on the quality and accuracy of accounts produced by some local authorities in Wales, the auditor general said. For more, see Public Finance.


Replies (2)

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By MattG
03rd Feb 2015 09:38

HMRC Stats

"HMRC also answered 95 per cent of calls first time on deadline day."

An interesting stat to pull out - not the average length of time, but the number answered 'first time'.

I wonder how they classify people who hang up early, are they not answered, or could they be wrong numbers? At what length of waiting time does one become the other? Is it just those greeted with a "sorry we can't take your call, ring back later" message who are treated as not answered? If so you could pretty much achieve 100% just by letting them sit on hold forever!

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
03rd Feb 2015 11:54

i found the phones better than normal in Jan. I make a call at 5.30pm on the Friday and went straight through. The guy sounded really cheesed off, but that wasn't the point. 

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