In its drive to modernise the process of collecting tax returns, the increased digitisation of the process is raising concerns that it will lead to more fines, investigations and even the prospect of submitting multiple tax returns during the year.
While the vast majority of the self-employed and landlords will have submitted their tax returns online without too much fuss last month, there will be some who failed to get to grips with the technology or understand some of the questions on the form.
According to reports, while the HMRC may give a bit of leeway to those affected by the HSBC Internet banking outage, there will be less sympathy for those who were not able to get to grips with their own online system.
Worse still, there are rumours that the HMRC will soon be able to log every transaction made between businesses and individuals logged on its system. This could mean that self-assessment becomes less about what businesses think they owe and more about the data the HMRC can get their hands on to check that it is correct.
While the HMRC insists that this won’t be the case even though there are clear indications that the paper tax return may soon be a thing of the past.