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As any UK cleric reading this will know, HMRC does not provide the necessary official software to enable clergy to complete the Minister of Religion: SA102M section of the income tax self-assessment return on-line – which means that clergy either have to buy commercial software or forego the option to file electronically.
Some time ago, the Honorary Taxation Adviser to the Baptist Union of Great Britain negotiated a concessionary rate of £12 for Baptist ministers for SimpleTax software, which enables users to complete SA102M electronically. SimpleTax is prepared to offer the concessionary rate to all those who need to complete SA102M, whether Baptists or not. Anyone who might be interested can try it here: the discount code is MORST2017.
I took this issue up with HMRC over fifteen years ago, arguing that it was discriminatory, in effect confining clergy to paper filing, since they stressed that any use of commercial software was at our own risk. They said the issue was on their agenda, but some way down…. I welcome this initiative and thank the Baptists for grappling ecumenically with the service benefit cap, but it really should not be necessary.
You’re dead right: it shouldn’t be. I’ve raised this (in CLAS mode) on almost every occasion when I’ve had face-to-face meetings with HMRC officials – but to no avail. The reply is always that the number of taxpayers involved is too small to justify the cost of development.