(Except clauses 4, 19, 23, 26 to 29, 87 to 92, 131 and 134 and schedules 1, 5 and 38) - Clause 132 - Mandatory e-filing

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 25th June 2002.

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Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Paymaster General (HM Treasury) 5:30 pm, 25th June 2002

There is nothing on the Inland Revenue website that does not concern tax information, and the hon. Gentleman should apologise for such assertions. The website carries only taxpayer information, as it is required to do.

On the amendment, I have made the point that the affirmative procedure would not take the hon. Member for Buckingham any further forward. The heart of the assurances that he sought concerned the consultation and discussion. The negative resolution procedure is perfectly reasonable, has always been used and works well, but I accept that it will be necessary for the Inland Revenue to consult representative bodies and software developers about the necessary developments. It is not about an Inland Revenue software system, but about all the providers and designers in the market being able to develop software packages. The discussions with the Inland Revenue will only concern ensuring that the relevant information is supplied in the packages and that they

are compliant. It is not as if the Inland Revenue is putting in a huge system.

For the Committee's information, the first set of draft regulations will be published in March 2003, and a period of consultation will follow before they are finally tabled. Any Member who is keen to discuss them will be welcome to receive a copy of the draft regulations and comment accordingly on it. In that way, the hon. Member for Buckingham gets consultation and a longer period, which is much better than an affirmative resolution procedure that does not provide for that. Although it is not everything that he wanted, I hope that he will feel that I have met him halfway and that he can withdraw his amendment.