One of the big questions raised by George Osborne’s recent Budget speech is what the abolition of tax returns might look like for Manchester accountants and their clients.
The annual tax return deadline for the self-employed and small businesses has become a January tradition, and despite having ten months from April to file, Manchester accountants are understandably at their busiest immediately before the deadline.
With the Budget speech coming midway between that deadline and the start of the new tax year, it’s a perfectly timed opportunity for Osborne to talk about abolishing the tax return.
It’s not as outlandish as it sounds – other countries have already done it, and use online systems that automatically collect information about business transactions, which you then simply confirm once a year in order to trigger the system to calculate your tax.
But tax returns are unlikely to be gone any time soon, as it would take several years to create a comparable working system in the UK, and even then some people with complex tax affairs may still need to complete a tax return.