The majority of online self-assessment tax returns are submitted by accountants- and for good reason

The majority of taxpayers choose their accountant to file their tax returns. Research revealed that 65% of taxpayers instructed an accountant when dealing with online tax returns.

This highlights the vital role that accountants continue to play in guiding clients through the complexities of the system.

As many taxpayers will realise, filing tax returns is not always straightforward and can be time consuming.

Using an accountant not only takes away the stress of filling a return but can also help to ensure that no mistakes are made on the return.

Innocent errors on a tax return can be a red flag for HMRC, and may draw unwanted attention to the taxpayer.

Added to this, employing an accountant will ensure that the returns are filed on time, preventing the taxpayer from incurring hefty fees, and scrutiny from the Revenue. Last year 870,000 self-assessed taxpayers filed their returns late.

Filing online can make it easier for HMRC to spot errors and inaccuracies so taxpayers and their accountants must make sure that there are no mistakes on the return. HMRC’s Connect database allows the Revenue to cross-reference and scrutinise information easier. If HMRC find any errors the taxpayer could find themself under investigation.

Tax investigations can not only be costly but can also be disruptive and upsetting- employing an accountant to help with tax returns can be a useful way to avoid making mistakes.

Although, HMRC’s Making Tax Digital plans have been put on hold due to the recent general election, it is likely that they will come in eventually. The announcement of the Making Tax Digital plans caused concerns throughout the accountancy profession that the move online could mean taxpayers may make more mistakes on their return.

With 65% of taxpayers choosing to use an agent the value the accountants bring to the process is evident.