Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.
First it was 12.12.12 and then it was 31.01.13 and by now both have come and gone … and life goes on. But has the ‘inner peace’ that HMRC promised arrived with you?
Among the debris in the aftermath of 31 January, we are told today that more tax returns than ever before were filed before the deadline. Just over 9.6M. Only 7% of those required to make a return didn’t reach the finishing line so won't have experienced the calm that HMRC told us would come from filing on time.
But of those who did cross the line, in the immortal words of Arthur Montford, ‘what a stramash’. Between 4-5 PM on the afternoon of Thursday 31 January, 46,000 tax returns were submitted through HMRC’s online portal. I’m surprised we didn’t see the inner peace from here.
A number of our own clients may well have featured in the final dash for peace. Certainly a breath-taking proportion featured in the submissions made over the four working weeks of January. It would be enough to make process engineers and workflow managers head off to the local coronary care unit. For those tasked with the compilation of information that is forthcoming only once 31 January is in sight, it is undoubtedly challenging and stressful. For those faced with the fees for their sterling efforts, it is definitely costly as a result of the midnight oil that has to be burned. And at the end of the day, it prevents us from giving the level of service to clients that we strive for.
In the close season as we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down before we start all over again, there is a chance to reflect on what we can do to improve things. Yes, we have done that before and come up with some great ideas to capture the imagination and encourage clients to part with the needed information. But even that hasn’t fixed the problem entirely. We still have our beloved recalcitrant scoundrels (who shall remain nameless for the time being, but we know where you stay!) who are in need of annual encouragement. We will be looking at how we can provide that encouragement so that this time next year I’ll be able to report that the Springfords Tax Team were sitting up straight, arms folded, well ahead of the end of January.
Aye right … but any suggestions to help us get there will be warmly welcomed.