(2) how many pre-paid business reply envelopes for value added tax returns were issued in each of the last three years;
(3) what his estimate is of the number of businesses that used pre-paid business reply envelopes for value added tax returns in each of the last three years.
HMRC stopped issuing pre-paid business reply envelopes (BREs) with VAT returns and assessments (and for most other tax functions) from 1 October, when it introduced its National Direct Debit Service for payments.
HMRC estimates that in the period 1 November 2008 to 28 February 2009, it achieved savings of £1,060,358 as a result of the withdrawal of pre-paid BREs, of which £170,000 related to pre-paid envelopes issued with VAT returns or assessments. It is not possible to disaggregate the savings on VAT returns from those on assessments.
HMRC issued 19,538,704 VAT returns during the last three years, and approximately 47,500 assessments a year, and a business reply envelope would have been included with each up to 30 September 2008.
HMRC does not keep a record of the number of businesses that use pre-paid BREs to submit their VAT returns.