From the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – Tax News (my highlights) :
The number of self assessment (SA) tax returns filed by the 31 January 2018 deadline for 2017 returns has once again reached a new high. 10.7 million taxpayers submitted their return on time and 9.9 million of these were filed online. For those interested in statistics, this means that more than 92.5% of total returns were completed online. And of course it does also mean that over half a million tax returns remain unfiled.
‘Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services, thanked customers for meeting the deadline and said:
It’s really fantastic to see that each year, more and more self assessment customers are getting ahead of the game and submitting their tax return before the 31 January deadline. But we’re not complacent, we want the number missing the deadline to be zero, and we’ll continue to adapt the process to make it easier and simpler for all our customers until every return is in on time and without avoidable errors.
If you’re one of the small number that missed the deadline, please submit your return now to avoid further penalties. We really don’t want penalties, we just want tax returns.’
ICAEW supports the ongoing drive to digitalise tax and tax returns. We note that the success of e-filing for SA has been achieved without mandation. There is instead an incentive in the form of a three month longer deadline for filing online, so carrot and not stick. In our view, Making Tax Digital (MTD) should be adopting the same approach and should be non mandatory until it has been shown to work.’