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Tax: Electronic Submissions

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors led to the increased expenditure in incentive payments for electronic filing from the initial estimate for 2004-05; and if he will make a statement. (111105)

The actual expenditure for 2004-05 filings was higher than the initial estimate for online filing incentives because substantially more small employers than anticipated filed online.

The assumption was that online filing take-up by small employers (fewer than 50 employees) for 2004-05 would be 10 per cent., which equates to a cost of £37 million. These figures reflected the hesitation and reluctance expressed by small employers over the introduction of electronic filing. In fact, 51 per cent. of small employers filed online for 2004-05 at a cost of £225 million.