Research has revealed that a majority of taxpayers choose their accountant to file their tax returns on their behalf, with 65% instructing an accountant when dealing with online tax returns.
This highlights the vital role that accountants continue to play in guiding clients through the complexities of the system. As many taxpayers will realise, filing tax returns is not always straightforward, and can be very time-consuming.
Reduce Errors and Avoid Fines & Investigation
Using an accountant not only takes away the stress of filing a return but can also help to ensure that no mistakes are made. Innocent errors on a tax return can be a red flag for HMRC and may draw unwanted attention to the taxpayer.
Added to this, employing an accountant will make sure that the returns are filed on time, preventing the taxpayer from incurring hefty fees, and scrutiny from the Revenue. Last year over 870,000 self-assessed taxpayers filed their returns late.
Filing online can make it easier for HMRC to spot errors and inaccuracies, so taxpayers and their accountants must make sure that there are no mistakes on the return. HMRC’s Connect database allows the Revenue to cross-reference and scrutinise information easier. If HMRC finds any errors the taxpayer could find themselves under investigation.
Tax investigations can not only be costly but can also be disruptive and upsetting – employing an accountant to help with tax returns can be a useful way to avoid making mistakes.
Making Tax Digital
Although plans were put on hold due to the recent general election, it is likely that HMRC’s Making Tax Digital will launch eventually. The announcement of the Making Tax Digital plans caused concerns throughout the accountancy profession at the time, with many suggesting the move online could result in taxpayers making, even more, mistakes on their return.
But with 65% of taxpayers choosing to use an agent, the value accountants bring to the process is evident.