Over one third of self-employed feel ‘left behind’ by online tax system

25 - 10 - 2013

More than one in three (39%) self-employed workers in the UK feel left behind by the tax system becoming increasingly internet based, the Association of Accounting Technicians has (AAT) found.

Many of those who feel excluded by the movement towards online tax management worry that they lack the knowledge and understanding to keep step.

However, three quarters of traders who opt for paper filing say they prefer using the tax system offline even though they are capable of filing returns and settling bills online.

One in ten of the smallest businesses say they choose to file paper returns, despite HMRC’s incentive of a later filing deadline for online returns.

One fifth of micro-businesses found completing a tax return ‘too complicated’ and 60% were unaware of accounting software and free downloadable resources available to them.

The AAT has called for more to be done to prevent small business owners from feeling ‘left behind’.

‘Time consuming and daunting’
‘We do have to cater to the fact that not all small business owners are digitally as engaged as others,” said Adam Harper, Director of Professional Development at AAT.

‘It’s clear that conducting one’s tax affairs online is a time consuming and daunting process for some and this has caused many micro businesses to either stick to old methods that they are more comfortable with or seek third party support.’

The findings come in the wake of a tax tribunal ruling that HMRC broke the law by requiring all firms to submit their VAT returns digitally, without providing an exemption for those who were unable to do so due to factors such as age, disability or broadband access.

Help available

Whether you are currently using the tax system online or sticking to traditional methods, it is always worth considering the options available to you in terms of managing your tax affairs.

Chartered Accountants, such as Foremans LLP, can deal with your tax returns so you don’t have to.

Specialising in contractor tax matters, we provide self-employed workers with packages of tax planning, bookkeeping, RTI-compliant payroll and accountancy services to suit their needs.

We are also delighted to offer free comprehensive insurance to all of our clients.
If you would like more information about our services, you can request a call back from one of our friendly expert Advisors or give us a call on 01244 625 500.







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