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Northern Ireland Tax Committee responds to VAT consultation

Tuesday, 18 February 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Chartered Accountants Ireland
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Author: Chartered Accountants Ireland

The Institute’s Northern Ireland Tax Committee recently submitted aresponse to the HM Revenue & Customs consultation VAT: amendments to legislation - assistance with electronic filing of VAT returns.  The Institute argues for exemptions from electronic filing methods to be readily available where the use of electronic filing places a disproportionate compliance burden on the taxpayer.

As reported in Chartered Accountants Tax News, the consultation is a direct response to the September 2013 decision of the First Tier Tribunal that the failure of the 1995 VAT Regulations to take account of a person's ability to comply on account of age, disability, computer illiteracy (linked to age) or remoteness of location was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. These regulations mandate VAT registered persons to file VAT returns online with very limited exemptions currently provided for.  The issues were hightlighted recently by the Institute’s Director of Taxation in an article in the Sunday Business Post.

In the Committee’s response to the consultation we reiterate that Chartered Accountants Ireland is fully supportive of the ongoing process to modernise communication methods with HMRC via online methods or e-submissions. However the background to the consultation is clear, amendments should be made to the VAT Regulation 1995 to build into a further exception on the grounds of incapacity.

The submission also notes a number of practical changes which are required to the current VAT Filing by Telephone service which is offered as a form of concession to filing VAT online but only in very exceptional cases.

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