HMRC optimistic on efiling targets

Kashflow logo
Share this content

HMRC  has published figures showing that it has “progressively delivered” against Lord Carter’s targets for online filing of Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, PAYE and VAT returns.

Published alongside the 2006 Budget, Lord Carter of Coles’ review of HMRC online services set down the aspiration of achieving “universal online filing” by 2012. The department devoted considerable time and money to upgrading its web servers and backroom IT infrastructure to cope with the increased workload and a dedicated Carter programme team was created to communicate the department’s plans to taxpayers and their agents.

According to Carter Programme marketing manager Julian Hatt, the HMRC online team took a phased approach to the different tax regimes, focusing on Self Assessment back in 2008, then moving on to PAYE. Online filing of payroll returns has been subject to a sequence of deadlines (backed with cash incentives of up to £250 for early filers) for companies of different sizes, starting with end of year returns for companies with more than 250 employees back in 2005 and leading up to next year’s requirement for all companies to file both year-end (P14s and P35) and in-year (P45 and P46) forms online.

As many accountants and business people will be aware, efiling became mandatory for VAT this April and the deadline for mandatory filing of Corporation Tax returns will be next April.

HMRC’s online filing figures illustrate the successive waves of online filing. Thanks to Lord Carter’s cash incentives (which he proposed in a separate PAYE review before his broader study of HMRC online services), nearly three-quarters of payroll returns were filed online in 2005-06. Apart from a slight dip in 2008-09, this remains the most successful of the online filing services, rising to 84% of all returns filed in the year to 5 April 2010.

Self Assessment had the next highest percentage of online filers when the Carter programme started in 2006 (23%). It experienced a big jump in 2008-09 when more than 2m taxpayers shifted to online filing, raising the percentage from 43% to 66%. The proportion of online returns filed for the 2010 deadline was nearly three-quarters (74%).

Please Login or Register to read the full article

The full article is available to registered members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register. Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and


Please login or register to join the discussion.

04th Aug 2010 19:12

VAT do you mean?

"Online filing of VAT returns has been the weakest area in the Carter programme”


oh why’s that Malc?

ANS: because it’s fiendishly difficult to register for onslime VAT,

if only it was as simple as CT where ALL u need is the reg number and the CT  ref to register.

Even VAT occifers acknowledge it's their stupid system but no one fixes it.

Thanks (0)
09th Aug 2010 16:35

Progressively delivered – not so

Carter report ( paragraph 22 on page 6:

 “HMRC should continue to work with Companies House to provide a joint filing facility by 2010.” This would have been useful for agents - so what happened to it? I contributed to the original Carter report, and afterwards pointed out that the main problem with this proposal was that usually full accounts and detailed P&Ls were filed at HMRC, but only abbreviated accounts (no P&L) at CH – that was back in 2006. I understand that HMRC only became aware of this in 2009! I offered a solution – CT online requires specific attachments for accounts and computations – well why not have a HMRC accounts and a CH accounts attachments – that way both can be filed through HMRC – HMRC would pass on just the CH accounts.

Thanks (0)
09th Aug 2010 16:36

And whilst on the subject of CT online

I feel HMRC is attempting too much with the introduction of iXBRL with compulsory CT filing. I’ve been efiling CT for several years so am used to attaching accounts etc, but many people are only used to individuals/partnerships and therefore not used to attachments. I feel HMRC should have continued the existing PDF option after 01/04/11 and give users a year before making iXBRL compulsory. Incidentally, the move to iXBRL may backfire. At the moment we tend to file detailed P&L. But the feedback I’m receiving from software developers is that because of the complexities of the tagging process, the detailed P&L may be dropped so that the accounts filed with HMRC will only contain the statutory P&L. So HMRC may end up receiving less information than they currently do.

Thanks (0)
09th Aug 2010 16:38

Let’s make it a hat trick – CIS. PAYE and service status

HMRC has been very selective with online services introduced. Take CIS. Prior to New CIS, HMRC were happy to provide agents with captured vouchers lists for subbies, but since the introduction of New CIS HMRC have refused. Ironically, we submitted all our old CIS returns on paper, but submit all New CIS electronically – so HMRC has the New CIS data in digital format therefore could enable agents access through online services – but HMRC refuses to consider this, saying that subbies should retain tax vouchers – but at the same time as introducing New CIS HMRC scrapped the CIS25 which all subbies had got used to – and HMRC replaced it with nothing! Another service agents have been asking for is the ability to see how HMRC have allocated employer’s PAYE payments. It would save us having to write to the Collector and request printouts (the Collector won’t respond to verbal requests) – come on HMRC – making CIS captured vouchers and PAYE payments available online would save you time because us agents wouldn’t have to contact you as often.

 And here’s another gripe – HMRC’s website doesn’t report unplanned downtime – online services was playing up this morning – HMRC’s website said all services were running normally – I phoned online services helpdesk – I couldn’t get through for some time because of the volume of calls – when I did get through I was told that HMRC were aware of the problem and were snowed under with the volume of calls – so why have incorrect information on the website – come on HMRC – if you’ve got a problem with your services then put a message on your website – don’t say that it’s all working!

Thanks (0)
13th Aug 2010 10:00

CT Online


I have filed online for a few companies for a number of years  using HMRC software. When I tried to do it this year the system had radically changed and the suggested Adobe changes were so complex that I have reverted to paper CT600's. As  next year online filing is mandatory I can only hope HMRC significantly improve their system.



Thanks (0)