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Revenue Service takes steps to reduce backlog

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Thursday 13 January 2022

The Revenue Service is taking steps to reduce the number of outstanding tax returns which need to be assessed.

The Service has enlisted the support of ex-staff members to process assessments and is also in discussions with local accountants to identify resources who could be seconded to assist.

Currently 93% of 2018 personal returns and 68% of 2019 personal returns have been assessed. Whilst the number for 2020 cannot be reported given the deadline has not passed, the Service will continue to prioritise previous year's returns before focussing on 2020 returns.

The Revenue Service is currently undergoing a large technology transformation to improve internal processes, as well as customer experience. The programme delivered a new online tax form last year, which provided customers with a calculation of their estimated liability. Further enhancements are planned for the 2021 return, including providing customers, who completed their 2020 return online, with their data pre-populated in the form.

The Programme has however experienced delays with the delivery of new automated assessment functionality. This has meant that all returns are having to be assessed manually by the team leading to delays in customers receiving their assessments.  The delays do not impact significantly on the collection of revenues for funding the provision of public services as the majority of tax is collected through the ETI scheme.

Sarah Davies, Head of Service Delivery for Revenue Service said:

"We understand that our customers are frustrated at the delays and we apologise for this. The Service is doing its best to get through as many returns as we can, which is why we've brought in this additional support and we hope to get through assessments faster.

We would like to ask customers not to follow up with us on the progress of their return at this time, so that we can focus our efforts on getting assessments done. We will provide you with your assessment as soon as we possibly can and we thank you for your patience."

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