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Equality Impact Assessment of the planned introduction of compulsory online filing for VAT, Corporation Tax and employers' annual and in-year returns

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is now putting in place plans to implement compulsory online filing for Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE (Pay As You Earn) for employers. In accordance with the department's legal responsibilities, it has considered whether those plans, and the way they will be implemented, might discriminate against certain customers, contrary to the UK's anti-discrimination legislation. This Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) reflects the outcome of that assessment, and invites feedback from individuals and representative bodies of all diversity groups.

Download the Equality Impact Assessment

The EQIA concludes that the primary diversity issues are disability, race (from the point of view of language only) and religion. It suggests that in most cases we have either met or plan to meet these needs. However, we wish to consult both externally and internally with representative bodies and individuals to ensure that our suggested plans and approach do in fact meet their needs, and to receive feedback on what additions/alterations might be necessary to them. Feedback can be provided by writing to the contact address set out in Chapter 6, para 6.10 of the main report, or online by completing the online questionnaire.

Use the online response form for this Equality Impact Assessment

The closing date for responses is Friday, 17 October 2008.

Your input is invaluable in helping us ensure that we have a clear view of what is needed, and why, as we implement our plans; and will help us ensure that your comments are taken into account in all our future activities.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the EQIA report in an alternative format (including large print, Braille, audio CD and electronic Word version) please contact Janet Daykin on Tel 01274 539646, or write to her at the Visually Impaired Media Unit, Second Floor, Victoria Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD98 8 AA.

Copies of the report in Welsh can be obtained by contacting Lee Jones, Welsh Language Unit/Uned Gymraeg, on Tel 02920 326688; or by email.
Alternatively, please write to Lee Jones at: Yst 12.35, Rhan 2, Ty Glas, Llanisien, Caerdydd, CF14 5 TS Room 12.38, Phase 2, Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5TS


In March 2006 Lord Carter published his review of HMRC online services. It focused on four Heads of Duty (HoD) - Income Tax (for those customers who submitted Self Assessment returns only, PAYE (for employers), Corporation Tax (for incorporated businesses and certain other entities) and VAT (for traders that were registered for VAT and so submitted tax returns). The report concluded that well designed online services could bring benefits to HMRC's customers, their agents and the Government. Following public consultation, it was agreed (and confirmed in the 2007 Budget) that online filing would become compulsory in future for Corporation Tax customers; those existing VAT traders whose turnover exceeded 100,000, and all those registering for VAT after a given date; and all employers operating full PAYE schemes, in respect of their in-year returns (in addition to their annual returns). The requirement to file online would be phased in over a period of years. For Self Assessment it was agreed that while customers would be encouraged to file online, there would be no compulsion on them to do so. However, the filing deadline for paper Self Assessment Returns would be brought forward from 31 January to 31 October, while the filing deadline for online Self Assessment Returns would remain at 31 January. (These deadline changes have taken effect from this year - paper Self Assessment Returns are due in at 31 October 2008, rather than 31 January 2009.)