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One in four tax bills will be wrong

Online tax advisory warns of impending cock-up by Inland Revenue

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Up to two million British taxpayers face paying the wrong tax bill thanks to Inland Revenue bungling. With less than two weeks left to submit Self Assessment tax returns for the 1998/99 tax year, the Inland Revenue still has three million forms outstanding. Civil servants will be rushed off their feet trying to cope with the flood of forms. What's more, it will be unlikely to meet its own target of 75 per cent accuracy, published in the Revenues Operating Plans for 2000-2001. So claims VirtuallyAnywhere.co.uk, an online tax advisory company. "The Inland Revenue is targeting and expecting to get tax bills wrong for one in every four Self Assessment taxpayers – some two million people," it trumpeted. "The worrying thing about this is that it is likely that taxpayers, without professional advisers, will not know if the Inland Revenue has got their tax bill right or wrong," commented Nigel Duke, the company's MD. VirtuallyAnywhere charges £80 to help people fill out their returns. It is currently pressing for the government to offer online facilities for tax returns - something it plans to offer on its site for the next financial year. ® Related stories: Taxman at risk from Y2K bug

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