We are informed that GOV.UK is undergoing a refit. The powers that be are restructuring the information by theme rather than by the departments or organisations that have contributed to the content. They intend to have the work finished by 2020.
Apparently, it is currently easier to Google search terms for material in the GOV.UK site than using the in-house search box. For example, if you search today for “electric cars tax allowance” there are no direct links to information on this topic on the first page of the GOV.UK responses. Google the same text string and the first listing is “Claim capital allowances: Business cars – Gov.uk”.
Perhaps the Government should have a word with Google and acquire a few algorithms?
Another gripe of professional users of the Government’s website is the over simplification of the content; especially material transferred from HMRC’s website. More and more informed tax professionals are turning to alternative sources for tax information.
Clearly, the GOV.UK website caters for their customers: taxpayers, voters etc. Which leaves an information gap; how are professionals supposed to access source material on which they can depend to further the advice they give to clients?
We can only hope that in the process of “theming” the GOV.UK site, the government wakes up to their responsibility to communicate the overview – simplified information for taxpayers – and more in-depth copy for those who need to see how tax legislation is to be applied and work in practice.
Our company, Informanagement, or rather its editorial team, are aware of this present dilemma and use multiple sources for their research, including the legislation.
If you would like to see how our online services could help you and your staff keep ahead of changing circumstances, and communicate these to your clients and prospects, get in touch any time for a demonstration.