Revenue have withdrawn their ROS facility to amend an income tax return online.
Back in September 2010, Revenue added a useful feature to their ROS site which allowed a user to amend online a previously-filed Form 11 Income Tax return. At the time, I heartily welcomed this move and hailed it as ‘an important innovation’. In the intervening 20 months or so, I used it on a number of occasions, most commonly as a particularly easy way of claiming a tax credit or allowance that had been omitted from an original tax return. I found the facility to be both useful and straightforward to use.
This morning I was reviewing the tax records of a client who had reached 65 years of age in late 2010 but hadn’t previously notified either myself or Revenue of this fact. He was therefore entitled to an Age Credit for 2010, along with PRSI exemption and partial Income Levy exemption for that year.
I accessed ROS to amend his 2010 tax return accordingly but I could not find any links to access the ‘Amend Form 11’ facility. A quick google search yielded a blank apart from my own blog post of September 2010 which outlined the steps involved in amending a return on ROS and a link to the relevant Revenue eBrief which was issued around that time. I was dismayed to find the eBrief link was dead, bringing me to a ‘Page not found’ page within the Revenue.ie site.
Increasingly puzzled, I tried the ROS help section of ROS.ie and its ROS FAQ – Form 11 page which told me:
“Can I avail of ROS to file an amended Form 11?
Unfortunately at this time if you have previously filed a Form 11, on either paper or through ROS, you will not be presented with the option of filing an amended return.”
Finally admitting defeat, I then had to resort to writing a letter to Revenue asking them to (i) update and amend my client’s 2010 Form 11 accordingly; and (ii) issue a new Income Tax assessment including the Age Credit and exemptions. My letter has just gone off in the post. I expect that it will reach Revenue in 1-2 days time and they will presumably deal with it in due course. No matter how efficiently they manually process it, the service cannot match the speed and efficiency of the automatic ROS service.
I am disappointed that Revenue have withdrawn the facility to amend returns online via ROS, and it seems to be a retrograde step for everyone concerned.
It is doubly disappointing that they didn’t alert accountants and taxpayers of the move, choosing instead to merely delete the eBrief that had previously explained the feature. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but a fresh eBrief announcing the change would at least have made ROS users aware that the feature no longer existed – saving both their own and their clients’ time. Hopefully Revenue will reintroduce the facility before too long.