Tax warning for consumers

08 September 2004
The final cut-off period is approaching for people who want to have the Inland Revenue calculate their tax bill for them.

From September 30th any of the nine million people required to fill in a self-assessment form for the financial year that ended on April 5th will have to do so themselves by end of January.

There is an automatic £100 penalty, as well as interest charged at 7.5 per cent, for forms submitted late.

However, for the expected 4.5 million that deposit their forms with the Inland Revenue in the next three weeks - sparing themselves the potential cost of an accountant or the trouble of working out their own tax liability - things might not go as easily as they at first seem.

Figures demonstrate that last year more than 200,000 forms completed on behalf of consumers had errors in them.

The Inland Revenue does, however, send out details to people whose forms it has completed - detailing the calculations made for the consumer.

"We are not a perfect organisation and do make mistakes dealing with millions of forms, so go over the figures with a fine-tooth comb," a spokesman for the Inland Revenue noted.

Approximately six per cent of returns processed for the 2002/03 tax year contained errors.
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