On 22 April 2014, HMRC published the outcome of its consultation on electronic filing, including draft amendments to the Value Added Tax Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/2518). The consultation

had followed the findings of the FTT in L H Bishop Electric Company Ltd3, that the regulations resulted in an unjustified interference with the appellants’ Convention rights, specifically Article 1 of the First Protocol (the right to the peaceful enjoyment of one’s possessions) and Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) when combined with Article 14 (which requires that the Convention rights be enjoyed without discrimination). This was on the basis

that there was a disproportionate application to those who were computer illiterate (due to age or disability), or who lived too remotely from a reliable internet connection.

The draft amendments to the regulations reflect that HMRC is to direct a new form of electronic return system (telephone filing) the use of which will be restricted to specified categories of taxpayers that are authorised to use it. HMRC will also provide for an additional category of excepted persons who will be authorised to use the paper return system.

To read the consultation documents, including the full outcome click here.

To read the FTT’s decision in L H Bishop Electric Company Ltd click here.