It would seem that HMRC are stepping up their plans to digitise their interactions with tax payers. We have reproduced below a posting to HMRC’s blog (they have a blog!) by Mike Potter, Digital Services, entitled:
Digital HMRC: a snapshot of what’s in the pipeline
“As all know if you’re building anything you need solid foundations in place first.
Last year, we invested a lot of time and effort to create two first-rate centres of digital excellence in London and Newcastle. Thanks to a successful Newcastle recruitment campaign in December/ January, we’ve got some excellent candidates joining us in the next few months, strengthening even further our pool of digital talent.
Of course, understanding what our customers need is crucial to the success of our digital plans. A series of workshops in January, each one focused on a particular customer group, showed me the deep understanding we have of our customers within our dedicated teams. They were very productive sessions and assured me that we’re clear on what we’re trying to achieve and when.
So as the end of the financial year nears, we’re confident we have a really clear picture of what’s in the pipeline for 2015/16 and beyond. Although I can’t share the full picture right now as it’s going through some final stages of approval, here’s a flavour of our future plans:
- We’ll be bringing more customers into Your Tax Account – a single online account where our business customers will increasingly be able to deal with all of their tax affairs as we add in more things that can be done through the account. It’s great to see that the satisfaction rate for this service is consistently running above 80%.
- We’ll also make life easier for companies later in the year by enabling them to file a Company Tax Return to HMRC and a set of accounts to Companies House at the same time.
For individual taxpayers:
- From March we’ll launching the personal tax account – this will be the one for individuals and micro businesses/ sole proprietors – and, again, we’ll add more things that can be done through the account over the course of the year.
- Later in the year, a new Transferable Allowance for Married Couples service will enable individuals to transfer £1,060 of their personal tax allowance to their spouse. The Government recently opened registration for this service.
- Building on the success of our Tax Credits Online service last year, we’ll be giving tax credit customers the option of renewing online.
- In the autumn we’ll be introducing a new service for agents where they can undertake a range of actions for clients.
And in addition, we’ll be fully digitising our forms. We now have 377 iForms and will start making them fully submittable online from March.
It’s clear we have a huge amount to achieve this coming year but seeing our digital capability realised so quickly gives me a real confidence that we can deliver on our plans – as ambitious as they are.”
If the new digital services include real time “chat” facilities, then perhaps this will speed up communication between taxpayers (their agents) and HMRC. It does mean that your staff and clients will need to watch their “p’s” and “q’s” when they exchange information in this way.
HMRC’s Digital Blog can be accessed at https://hmrcdigital.blog.gov.uk/