Half of firms miss tax deadlines

Solicitors in Northern Ireland will have to ensure that clients adhere to tax deadlines, after a report by the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) revealed that only 60 per cent of firms pay their capital gains tax on time.

Not only that, but Northern Ireland solicitors will also have to ensure that VAT receipts are sent off on time, as the report revealed that only half of them are received by the deadline.

The tardiness of corporations is responsible for a £1.5 billion deficit in HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) revenue in October last year.

However, the blame for this may lie in the fact that businesses are not using solicitors enough to help them with their tax returns.

The Pac criticised the gaps in the tax office's data linking failure to file both returns from the same business and other forms of non-compliance.

Chairman Edward Leigh said: "HMRC must be much better informed about the types of business which tend to be late in filing and slow in paying up.

"HMRC could make greater use of non-financial incentives to businesses to comply with filing deadlines. For instance, tax clearance certificates could be awarded confirming that businesses have complied with their tax obligations thereby qualifying them for public sector contracts."

In the past, firms have complained that tax forms are too complicated to complete, which is why they are often delayed.

As such, businesses in Belfast and Northern Ireland should contact solicitors in order to help fill out the necessary tax returns on time.

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