Headlines: July 5th, 2000

Following the launch of the pilot scheme for VAT on line returns by Customs and Excise, the Inland Revenue now allows personal taxpayers to make their self assessment returns on line. The service was due to go live in April and several hundred taxpayers have registered to use the system, but they were unable to submit returns because of software problems which have now been resolved. Thirty taxpayers successfully submitted returns on the first day of operation.Before taxpayers who register on the site can submit a return they must order free software from the Inland Revenue orderline and wait until they receive a user identity by post. The software incorporates the tax return and it will be available for downloading later in the year. The service is supported by a telephone helpline which gives a rapid and friendly response.

On line taxpayers will qualify for a ten pounds rebate on the tax bill and they will also receive e-mails with details of new features of the system and reminders of filing deadlines.

The service was given a low key launch, but an advertising campaign is planned to start on 10 July 2000.

Link: www.inlandrevenue.gov.