Jennifer Adams reviews a recent tax case where the taxpayer relied on the new 'pre-population' of tax returns as the basis of an appeal against a discovery assessment issued by HMRC.
Under the government’s 'making tax digital' initiative, HMRC receives information from specific data providers (e.g., employers and pension providers through PAYE) and automatically adds (‘pre-populates’) the details into a taxpayer’s records and tax return.
Where this happens, there is no need for a taxpayer to complete every box on the annual tax return. Instead, they are asked to check the data in the pre-filled return and, if wrong, only then to make any necessary changes. Furthermore, as this method of completing a return is expanded, it would be very easy for a taxpayer to assume that the pre-populated figures are correct and